The production of Handel’s Messiah is an Eastertime institution at Bethany College in Lindsborg. But this year will see “a radically new” twist to the 132-year-old tradition on Easter Sunday: African-American spirituals sung by four guest soloists from the nationally acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, following the story arc of “The Messiah.”
This will be the first performance of “A Spiritual Messiah” by the classically trained vocalists, who travel the world to teach and perform African-American spirituals, said Blakely Bunning, coordinator of the Messiah Festival of the Arts in Lindsborg. A representative of the American Spiritual Ensemble approached the festival last year asking to be a part, and a program developed for Easter Sunday is the result, Bunning said.
Handel’s Messiah was performed in Lindsborg as usual on Palm Sunday. Normally the performance is repeated on Easter Sunday.
“A Spiritual Messiah” will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Presser Hall on the Bethany campus, 335 E. Swensson St. Tickets are $17 and $22; call 785-227-3311, ext. 8137, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, or order online at messiahfestival.org.
The festival also includes Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew” performed by the Bethany Oratorio Society at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Presser Hall. Tickets are $12 and $17.
Easter weekend also brings other special events to the Wichita area:website scz.org and click on Easter Eggstravaganza the Tulips, Fairies & Friends event
Some other Easter-related events: