In Catalonia, Händel’s Messiah can not only be heard at concert halls. Tomorrow at noon it will be sung in front of the Lledoners prison, an hour drive from Barcelona, where Catalan political prisoners are held. Almost 500 singers and an orchestra of 40 professional musicians will perform. Their intention is to pay homage to the political prisoners and let them feel that they are not alone at Christmas time.

“We have 150 contraltos, 75 basses and more than 80 tenors. Soloists, tenors and sopranos are all professionals. We asked that they were people who had recently sung the Messiah, who had the score in their heads. It will not only be participative, but professional too” says Albert Bardolet, one of the organisers of the event, who will direct the choir.

Thousands of people are expected to attend. The stage, the orchestra and the singers will perform in front of the prison, with no speakers nor microphones. At noon, prisoners are outside, at the yard, so that they will be able to hear the music. The musicians belong to several orchestras and they come from all over Catalonia, as well as the singers.

For over a year, thousands of people gather every Sunday close to the prison to sing songs to the political prisoners. Also on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, thousands of people went to Lledoners to sing carols [video] and say good night to the political prisoners. Some people also went to the prisons were the two women political prisoners are held.