Important practice information

With not very long to go before our performance, it is important for everyone to attend as many practices as possible.  Please take a note of the dates, times and places listed below.

Tuesday 19 November

There will be no practice on this date because Robert will be away. It is even more important, therefore, that you try and make the Thursday practices below.

There will be extra practices on these Thursdays in November: 21st and 28th.

Sunday 8 December

The performance is now at 2pm, not 4pm as originally scheduled. Please keep the whole day free for we will be meeting at the theatre at 10am for an hour's rehearsal.

The songs the choir will be singing are listed below. (Page numbers for the Novello edition.)   

 4. And the glory of the Lord (p.10) 

 9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (p.38) 

12. For unto us a child is born (p.47) 

17. Glory to God in the highest (p.61)

22. Behold the Lamb of God (p.80)

24. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (p.87)

25. And with his stripes we are healed (p.91)

28. He trusted in God that he would deliver him (p.104)

33. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (p.116)

37. The Lord Gave the Word (p.133)

44.  Hallelujah (p.158)

46. Since by man came death (p.172)

53. Worthy is the Lamb, Amen (p.196)

Practice links on the internet

The internet is full of useful videos for those who want to learn or practise their parts. You may prefer to sing along with all the other parts either muted or at normal volume, or learn yours in isolation. The suggestions below are just some of those available. Let us know if you find a particularly useful one to share with the rest of the choir.


These feature an instrumental accompaniment with your 'voice' emphasised above the others.


Scroll down beyond the Verdi etc and you'll find a full range of Messiah parts.


In these videos a gentleman named WML takes you through individual parts for some of the pieces of the Messiah. It is like a one-on-one tutorial – an excellent way to learn your part.

If you can't click through directly, copy and paste the links below into your search engine then bookmark them for future reference.


Voice recordings in mp3 format with individual parts emphasised. Download and sing along while you work on something else!

You might find the notes on Messiah Markings 2017.pdf interesting (slightly familiar, even).

Visiting soloists confirmed

Emma Pearson (soprano)


Emma Pearson is an Australian soprano who held the position of principal artist at Hessisches Staatstheatre, Wiesbaden from 2005–14. When she left the company, the State of Hessen awarded Emma the honorary title of 'Kammersängerin' (literally meaning 'chamber singer', an honorific title for distinguished singers of opera). She is the youngest opera singer to have ever received this title. She has performed countless titles among her 30 roles throughout this time in Germany, and on her return to Australia. Emma is a graduate of a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) from the University of Western Australia.

Emma and our bass Wade Kernot are a married couple, juggling their busy careers with the care of their young son.

Elin Tomos (contralto)


Elin Tomos performs with the Marlborough Singers regularly, and is well known to Marlborough audiences, her local fame enhanced by her singing of the National Anthem at several All Black test matches. 

Born in Wales, Elin studied music at the prestigious Kings College in London and received her vocal tuition at the Royal Academy of Music.

After coming to NZ, she taught Performing Arts to the children at Springlands School for six years but is currently taking a break from teaching so that she can focus all of her energy on being a mum to a young daughter.

Declan Judd


New Zealander Declan Cudd has been a Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist with New Zealand Opera since 2017. Declan holds a Bachelor of Music and Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Performance Voice from the New Zealand School of Music, where he was awarded the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music Directors Scholarship.

Since 2013 he has performed in New Zealand Opera tours of Sweeney Todd and The Mikado and played a number of other roles. Concert performances include the tenor solos in Elijah, Mozart Mass in C minor, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Donizetti Messa Di Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah.

Wade Kernot


Since he was a founding member of Auckland's Opera Factory in around 2002, Wade Kernot has had a stellar career, performing major roles in Europe, Australia and NZ. In 2009 he was a semi-finalist representing NZ in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Neue Stimmen, in Germany, then from 2010-2015 he held a full-time principal position at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland.

Wade has appeared as a soloist in many concert performances with the New Zealand Symphony, and Vector Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras, and held a principal position with the Australian Opera Studio in Perth, later graduating with honours. He then pursued further studies at the National Opera Studio in London and attended the Solti/Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto and the Verbier Festival Opera Studio. 

David Barnard (accompanist)


David Barnard is the Head of Accompanying and Vocal Coaching at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, where he teaches the subtle art of piano accompanying and works closely with the vocal department as the head vocal coach, for both opera and song interpretation. 

Born in Australia, David graduated from his undergraduate degrees at the remarkable age of 18 and pursued a career in the UK through his family heritage. His studies continued with British Youth Opera and he became a Britten-Pears Young Artist. His career has spanned many opera companies as repetiteur & vocal coach, song recitals, orchestral playing & chamber music radio broadcasts. 

We are lucky to have him!


Handel's Messiah was first performed on April 13, 1742 in Dublin, Ireland as a charity concert benefiting three charities: prisoners’ debt relief, the Mercers Hospital and the Charitable Infirmary. Handel sought and was given permission from St. Patrick’s and Christ Church cathedrals to use their choirs and he even had his own organ shipped to Ireland for the performance. To ensure that the audience would be the largest possible, gentlemen were asked to remove their swords and women were asked not to wear hoops in their dresses. The takings from the concert were around £400 and each charity received about £127 which secured the release of 142 indebted prisoners.


The reason for this has its origins in a legend that may or may not be true. The often repeated story is that King George II was so moved by the chorus during the London premiere that he rose to his feet. Because of protocol, the audience in attendance also stood and thus the tradition was born. However, many experts agree that there is no evidence that King George II was even in attendance at the premiere. Newspapers of the time did not mention his attendance and it would be unlikely they would leave out the detail of a royal presence. The first written documentation of this story was a letter written 37 years after the London premiere. The London premiere also received a rather cool reception unlike the Dublin one which was a hit. All of this has led to numerous debates and countless passive-aggressive battles between sitters and standers.

Taken from the website below. Worth looking up for more interesting material about the Messiah. Copy and paste this address: 

QUESTION: Do audiences in Blenheim stand during the singing of the Hallelujah chorus??

ANSWER: (After the Proms concert) No!