Mr. S. P. B. MAIS
There are two schools of walker : those who go for a walk and those who go somewhere. Mr. S. P. B. Mais is going to change all that this winter and spring. In this series of twelve talks which he makes his how to a new broadcast public-the Saturday
morning one-he will set himself toanswer the question so many Londoners ask themselves every week-'What shall we do this week-elld?' He will follow the procedure that was so successful in his 'Unknown
Island ' series earlier in the year, and after selecting two or three accesible places of interest, visit them himself and record his personal impression for the benefit of listeners. He will visit such places the museums, picture-gallery, the docks, the Isle of Dogs, and many other of the nooks and crannies of London which the city's growth tends to make more and more remote from the average man and woman Mr. Mais is as vigorous a walker as he is a talker: he travelled over 15.000 miles in the course of his 'Unknown Island' explorations and Londoners could ask no more enthusiastic or well-informed week-end guide than him.
(Christmas Season, 1932-3)
Relayed from The Queen's Hall, London
(Sole lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.)
Tickets can be obtained from [address removed], and usual Agents ; Prices (including Entertainments Tax), 7s. 6d., 6s., 5s. (reserved), 3s. (unrescrved), Promenade (Payment at docrs only), 2s.
The first performance of Messiah was given on April 1:3, 1742. at the New Music Hall, in Fishamble Street, Dublin, which had been built by William Neal a music publisher and opened only a few months previously. A full ichenrsal of the oratorio was given on April 8, to which the public was admitted. On the night of the performance seven hundred people filled the Hall, which was a small one; a disappointed crowd, equally large, remained outside. The reception of the work was tumultuous.
The chorus, trained to a very high pitch of perfection, was drawn from the combined forces of the two Cathedral Choirs, Christ-church and St. Patrick's. Dubourg, a leading violinist, was in charge of the band,
Handel being at the organ. The male soloists, Baily and Mason (tenor and bass), were neither of them very good, but the women, Signora Avolio (soprano), whom Handel had brought from London and Mrs. Gibber (conhalto), who was apparently in Dublin at tlie time of Handel's arrival, were both splendid, Mrs. Cibber'in particular. Mrs. Cibber was really an actress, not merely a professional singer, but her voice, though deficient in power,' had the quality of beauty and emotional feeling that made so strong an appeal to Handel. Thereafter,' all the contralto solos he wrote were written for her to sing.
The book of words was published for the occasion, and was advertised as being on sale at the price of ' a British sixpence.' A copy of this would now be very rare. One was discovered in 1891, and immediately absorbed into a private collection.
Charities benefited from the first performance to the amount of £381.
Messiah was repeated in Dublin on June
3, again to a crowded house,' but there was no other performance during the time Handel was in the city. Its subsequent history includes the production of Messiah in London in the following year, not as Messiah, but under the title of ' A Sacred Cantata -a concession to public opinion. London did not want to hear Messiah ; it was a frost, and only had three performances that year. Indeed, for the first seven years it had only seven performances in all, two of which were the Dublin performances.