Life affords few greater pleasures than to hear a sparkling soprano such as Sara Macliver dance her way through Rejoice greatly.Or a mellow mezzo such as Fiona Campbell yield to the darkness of He was despised.

Or a terrific tenor such as Paul MacMahon wring every ounce of nuance out of Comfort ye. Or a brilliant baritone such as David Greco so persuasively partner bright brass in The trumpet shall sound.

Or a choir and orchestra such as St George’s Cathedral Consort and members of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra blow the cobwebs off the Hallelujahchorus. Or a visionary conductor such as Joseph Nolanpull everything together with such imagination and gusto.

Sara Macliver and Fiona Campbell perform in Handel's Messiah, April 2022. Photo © Rebecca Mansell. Messiah

But enough of the purple prose and unqualified praise – a trap all too easy to fall into when reviewing such an extraordinary performance as Wednesday night’s.

Perhaps the word “extraordinary” is nowadays too indiscriminately applied. Not so here, Dear Reader.

As Sandra Bowdler points out in her excellent...