Bach Collegium San Diego Presents “Messiah vis à vis El Mesias”

| December 6, 2023 | 0 Comments

Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD), one of the country’s leading ensembles, celebrates the holiday season with Handel’s beloved oratorio Messiah with performances both in English and Spanish featuring BCSD’s commissioned Spanish libretto by Mario Montenegro, and delivered with BCSD’s customary virtuosity and vibrancy. 

The final performance on December 12 at Centro Cultural Tijuana marks the closing ceremony for the joint, year-long bicentennial of the U.S.-Mexico relations, and staff from the Mexican Consulate General is expected to be in attendance.

The company commissioned a Spanish libretto of Handel’s “Messiah” with the purpose of performing it in one of the vernacular languages of our immediate community, both in the United States and Mexico.

In writing the libretto for the full Spanish version, Montenegro had to make major decisions about the structure of the text as well as the Spanish-language translation.

“I opted to create original text instead of relying on a mere translation of the text in English, which takes a selection of pre-existing biblical texts, arranged and structured to offer a profile of Jesus Christ in four episodes: the Nativity, the Passion, the Resurrection and the Ascension,” said Montenegro. “Being a work from the 18th century, we needed to ensure coherence and understanding directly from the text and move away from the academics of the language. We decided to expand the forms and verbal conjugations of Mexican Spanish with the contemporary forms of use of Iberian Spanish, which gave us linguistic reference closer to the time of the work while making it understandable to the modern speaker.”

Soloists for the performances include Nell Snaidas, soprano; Estelí Gomez, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; Jay Carter, countertenor; Jacob Perry, tenor; and Mischa Bouvier, bass.

Bach Collegium San Diego engages audiences with accessible, historically informed performances and educational programs featuring repertoire from the Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical eras. The ensemble was founded in 2003 by Music Director Ruben Valenzuela to diversify the musical offerings of the San Diego community. 

Performances schedules include:

  • 7 p.m., Friday, December 9 at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, located at 3459 Manchester Avenue in Cardiff, California.
  • 3 p.m., Saturday, December 10 at All Souls Episcopal Church, located at 1475 Catalina Boulevard in San Diego.
  • 6 p.m., Tuesday, December 12 at Centro Cultural Tijuana, located at 9350 Zona Rio in 22010 Tijuana, B.C, Mexico.

Ticket information is available at or by calling (619) 341-1726.

Bach Collegium San Diego inspires audiences with accessible, historically informed performances.

Category: Entertainment, Events, Historical, Holidays, Local News, Music, Nonprofit

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