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Usually a story from the Bible set to music for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Oratorio emerged during the Baroque period and was pioneered by Bach and Handel. As in Opera, Oratorio typically include recitatives, arias, duets and chorus. The soloists will play the part of different characters from the biblical story but unlike opera it is performed without acting or stage design.


A performance of 'Comfort ye my people' (recitative) and Every Valley (aria) from 'The Messiah' by Handel.

The Choir of King's College, Cambridge perform the Hallelujah chorus from 'The Messiah'.

Listen to the overture of 'Elijah' by Mendelssohn.

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