The occasional use of a counter tenor
, then, is another element which helps with the constant renewal that Keeps these annual Messiahs so captivating.
Williams Towers is also convincing as the enraptured guest.
David Condry is musical director of Morley Music Society and director of the Leedsbased semi-professional chamber choir Ecclesia.
Dame Emma Kirkby will be joining counter tenor
Michael Chance and the musicians of Musica Petropolitana from St Petersburg for a concert in St Mary's Church, Warwick, on Tuesday.
Soprano Lucy Mair, tenor Charles Daniels, baritone Michael Davis and Belgian counter tenor
Patrick van Goethem, making his North East debut, will also take to the stage.
Andreas Scholl and The Shield of Harmony Ensemble perform a theatre piece using images, theatre and music to take us into the world of Oswald von Wolkenstein.
James Bowman, counter tenor
, and Dr Andrew Gant, organist, choirmaster and composer at Her Majesty's Chapel Royal, and other members of the Chapel Royal Choir with the Avison Ensemble will perform anthems by Handel and Purcell written for the Chapel Royal, a body in existence since before the Norman Conquest.
For Adrian Lucas and the City of Birmingham Choir their return to the refurbished Town Hall had many of the right elements: a well drilled, balanced chorus responsive to Lucas's tidy direction; an alert, stylish Orchestra of the Swan enhanced by recorders and chamber organ; and legendary counter tenor
James Bowman to provide a role model for the other soloists.
Rising stars featured in the 2007 programme include German-Italian mezzo-soprano Anja Kampe, counter tenor
Iestyn Davies, Russian pianist Alexei Volodin, Australian jazz vocalist Anita Wardell and American bass-player Kyle Eastwood.
For his Coventry recita he will be joined by counter tenor
Tim Travers-Brown who has just released his debut solo CD.
James Bowman and Dr Andrew Gant, organist, choirmaster and composer at Her Majesty's Chapel Royal - along with other members of the Chapel Royal Choir - will join the Avison Ensemble to perform anthems by Handel and Purcell written specially for the Chapel Royal.
The other soloists are counter tenor
Charles Humphries and soprano Catrine Kirkman.
The counter tenor
Daniel Auchincloss's wrenchingly protracted song of the burning swan was well executed, while soprano Ailish Tynan, standing in at short notice, was excellent save for her final solo - Dulcisiime - which sounded messy and inaccurate.
Soprano Elizabeth Watts brought an impressive lightness of touch to the proceedings, while counter tenor
Simon Baker has a truly amazing voice.
Tenor John Bowley was intent on projecting drama, bass Ashley Holland was sterner and more resonant, and extrovert soprano Gillian Webster was strikingly spirited, but none of them could touch the heart-stopping purity and beauty of Robin Blaze's counter tenor