A music sheet from the marble George Handel memorial

Handel Messiah

Date Time Location Price

A seasonal performance of Handel's much-loved oratorio Messiah

The Choir of Westminster Abbey and leading period-instrument orchestra St. James' Baroque herald the start of the Christmas season with a performance of Handel's most famous oratorio.

A performance of Messiah in Westminster Abbey is always a special occasion thanks to the composer’s unique association with the Abbey. A London resident for over 40 years, Handel wrote some of his most celebrated music for performance here and is buried in Poets’ Corner, where he is immortalised in an imposing life-size statue by Louis-François Roubiliac. Beside the figure of the composer is a musical score showing a fragment of the Messiah aria ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’.

The Choir of Westminster Abbey is renowned worldwide as one of the finest ensembles of its type, its repertoire extending from plainsong and Renaissance polyphony to twentieth-century masterpieces and new commissions. In addition to singing the daily services, as it has done since the fourteenth century, the Choir plays a central role in the many royal and state occasions which are held in the Abbey, as well as reaching a wider audience through its programme of broadcasts, recordings and international tours.

This concert takes place thanks to the generous support of Patricia Owen Keltner and David Keltner.

The performers

  • The Choir of Westminster Abbey
  • St. James’ baroque
  • Tristram Cooke counter-tenor
  • William Balkwill tenor
  • Jonathan Brown baritone
  • James O'Donnell conductor

We regret to announce that the originally advertised counter-tenor Robin Blaze has had to withdraw from this performance. We are very grateful to Tristram Cooke for agreeing to take his place at short notice.

What the critics say

“A choice performance … an extraordinary range of expressive tone.”
The Guardian

“The vigour of St James’s Baroque was a constant pleasure.”
The Times


  • Reserved seating - £50, £40, £32 
  • Restricted view (unreserved) £25 
  • No view (unreserved) - £15

There is a £1.75 transaction fee.

Attending the concert


  • Doors open at 6.15pm and the concert will begin at 7.00pm.
  • There will be an interval of 20 minutes and the performance will end at around 9.30pm.
  • Latecomers will be admitted but may not be able to occupy their allocated seats until a suitable break in the performance.

Food & drink

The Cellarium Terrace will be open from 5.00pm serving pre-concert drinks and snacks, with a two-course pre-concert menu available in the Cellarium Café from 5.30pm.

For reservations please call 020 7222 0516 or email [email protected]

Access & security

  • Entry to Westminster Abbey is via the Great West Door
  • On arrival, please have your ticket ready to show our staff (either printed at home or on your mobile phone).
  • Your bag will be searched and we ask you not to bring any large items with you (for example suitcases, large backpacks or folding bicycles) as these will not be allowed inside and we are unable to store them for you.


While most coronavirus restrictions have now been lifted, we are keeping a number of measures in place at the Abbey to help ensure your safety:

  • our overall seating capacity has been reduced and we have made changes to the layout to improve access to seats and minimise congestion
  • hand sanitiser is available and an enhanced cleaning regime remains in place throughout the church
  • all audience members and staff are encouraged to wear face coverings and to observe social distancing as far as possible while moving around the church;
  • check-in via the NHS Test & Trace app is encouraged
  • ticket-holders are asked not to attend if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Filming & photography

Please note that photography, filming and sound recording are not permitted at Abbey concerts.


  • Older children are very welcome at our evening concerts but we do not recommend them for children under the age of six.
  • Tickets for Abbey concerts are non-transferrable and non-refundable (except in cases of COVID-19 illness or self-isolation).