Handel's Messiah was a slow burn — it was first performed in Dublin in 1753, and wasn't very popular at all for a while. It was originally written to accommodate small, practical-sized groups of musicians, but was inflated to orchestra/giant choir size following the composer's death, and has only increased in popularity since. It went viral, if you will. Mozart was one contributer who spiced it up a bit, into the epic go-to holiday extravaganza that it is today. (Hey, if you're going to have an editor, it might as well be Mozart.) See the Greater Bridgeport Symphony's version of the oratorio conducted by Benjamin Loeb (pictured) on Thursday at the Quick Center's Kelly Theatre, Saturday and Sunday at The Klein. The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will stage their interpretation at the Edgerton Center on Friday.
Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, 1073 N. Benson Road, Fairfield, Thu., 7:30 p.m. (203) 254-4010, quickcenter.com
Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Ave., Fairfield, Fri., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. (203) 374-2777, edgertoncenter.org
Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport, Sat., 8 p.m. & Sun., 3 p.m. (203) 259-1036, theklein.orgCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times