LANGLIFFE Singers will be joined by a world famous soloist for their performance of Handel’s Messiah at Settle Parish Church on Saturday, December 18.

The choir, which has around 60 members, will be joined by professional soloists, including Giggleswick born soprano, Sarah Fox, and invited singers from other choirs and groups.

The choir will be conducted by recently appointed music director Darren Everhart, director of music at Giggleswick School, and a former conductor of Settle Orchestra.

Darren moved to Italy in 2012 to take up the post of director of music at St George’s British International school in Rome, and last year, he and his family moved back to the UK when he resumed his role as director of music at Giggleswick School.

He took over as music director of Langcliffe Singers following Nigel Waugh’s retirement earlier this year.

The soprano soloist will be the internationally renowned Sarah Fox, born in Giggleswick, who has appeared at many of the world’s great opera houses, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

She has sung at Glyndebourne and at the Proms and has also performed abroad with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Berlin Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

The other soloists are Elinor Carter, contralto, Philip O’Connor, tenor and Rob Gildon, bass. The organist is Shaun Turnbull, assistant organist at Ripon Cathedral.

Handel’s Messiah needs no introduction, being arguably the most popular choral work ever written and certainly one of the most frequently recorded.

It took Handel only 24 days to write in the summer of 1741, although since he was heavily in debt at the time that may well have motivated him to complete the work swiftly.

Its premiere was held in Dublin because Handel’s concerts in London the previous year had received a lukewarm reception and he did not want his latest work to suffer the same fate.

The notice of the premiere, which was in aid of charity, urged the ladies of the audience not to wear hoops in their dresses and the gentlemen not to wear swords in order to save space and so allow room for a larger audience. The hall was packed when the performance took place on April 13 1742.

It raised £400, approximately one-third of which went towards the release of 142 inmates from debtors’ prison, a cause close to Handel’s heart for obvious reasons

The concert at Settle Parish Church on December 18 starts at 7pm. Tickets cost £12 and are available from Car and Kitchen Café in Settle and Bentham Post Office or via the choir’s website - Unless sold out they will also be available at the door.