Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah
If the name isn’t indication enough, this Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, which always brings audiences to their feet before the “Hallelujah” chorus, comes with a high dose of cheese.
January 17 to 18. Auditorium Theatre. $29 to $68. auditoriumtheatre.org
Callipygian Players with Bella Voce
Music nerds, this one is for you: The annual collaboration follows the Messiah score from top to bottom—with period instruments to boot. It’s the closest interpretation in Chicago of Handel’s original vision.
November 22. Fourth Presbyterian Church. $15 to $50. bellavoce.org
Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
With early-music conductor Bernard Labadie on the podium for this top-shelf performance, expect expert 16th-note runs in “For Unto Us a Child Is Born.” Because the symphony is driven by precision.
December 10 to 20. Symphony Center. $36 to $255. cso.org
Never made it past the chorus line in high school? Fulfill your diva dreams at this DIY fair, where you can sing out without doubt. Just remember that “His yoke is easy” is anything but.
December 21 to 22. Harris Theater. $15. harristheaterchicago.org
Apollo Chorus of Chicago
This downtown vocal outfit may be volunteer, but the group still snagged some stellar talent, including soprano Amanda Majeski, who starred in The Passenger at Lyric Opera last season.
December 19 to 20. Harris Theater. $30 to $60. harristheaterchicago.org