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Messiah Rocks

Peter McGuire

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Handel's Messiah Rocks, starring MiG Ayesa, LaChanze and J. Robert Spencer, delivers a ground-breaking experience. It infuses a newfound passion and emotion into Handel's Messiah that will captivate people of all ages. The creators pay the utmost respect to the classic work and retain its essence, yet add layers that enrich it.

The powerful trio of stars delivers in every piece. Ayesa demonstrates an impressive range, a beautiful voice, and a stunning ability to convey emotion. LaChanze combines gorgeous vocals and stage presence, and Spencer displays a strong voice and a dramatic edge. Keith Lockhart and members of the Boston Pops are in prime form.

Handel's Messiah Rocks features an ideal pairing of artist with mood and musical style. LaChanze radiates joy, especially with the triumphant and uplifting He'll Come In Glory, and the smooth as honey How Beautiful. J. Robert Spencer raises the intensity level in He Is Fire, joining the soaring electric guitars to make an impact. He performs a powerful He Was Despised that shakes one to the core.

Ayesa reveals an impressive versatility. In the stellar and emotion-packed Behold the Lamb of God, he brings forth an exceptional voice and holds notes for lengthy periods as cascading children's voices join in. The piece surrounds and takes one's breath away, and Ayesa's ability to reach deep inside is amazing. He lets loose in King of Glory, unveiling a license to rock and raising audience participation to a peak before bringing the house down. The first time I watched the DVD, King of Glory instantly became my favorite. More than any other, it honors, connects, and celebrates Messiah's message of joy.

In addition to the stellar performances, the DVD features bonus interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Handel's Messiah Rocks makes a lasting impression.

Edited by Peter McGuire
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