Composer/Pianist Felix Jarrar Presents ​’Too Hot to Handel: A Virtual Messiah Part One’

By Chris Ruel

It’s the holiday season, a time when performances of Handel’s “Messiah” are a long-standing tradition. But with the world in the grip of a second wave the COVID-19 pandemic, music organizations large and small have looked for new ways to perform the work safely.

Composer/Pianist Felix Jarrar’s “Too Hot to Handel: A Virtual Messiah Part One” is one such undertaking.

Part One of the oratorio will stream live on Jarrar’s YouTube channel on December 8 at 7:00 p.m. EST. The performance features soloists soprano Teresa Castillo, mezzo-soprano Allison Gish, tenor Chad Kranak, and baritone Angky Budiardjono.

“Too Hot to Handel” is the latest of Jarrar’s virtual, live-streamed social media concerts. In keeping with his previous presentations, the performance is free to listen to and watch. Donations are encouraged, with proceeds going to the performing artists.

Updates and additional information about the concert are available on the composer’s YouTube channel.​

Jarrar, age 25, has composed approximately 118 works which include 100 art songs, 9 operas, two string quartets, and a cantata. Jarrar’s compositions have been presented at venues as diverse as Symphony Space, (le) poisson rouge, BAM’s Fisher Hillman Studio, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Internationally artists from the Metropolitan Opera, the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, and the duo Unassisted Fold have showcased his work.