Many communities put performances of Handel's Messiah at Christmastime. It's a wonderful work, but intimidating for instrumentalists and singers alike. The music is hard, but the most tricky aspect of a Messiah performance is that it's just so darned LONG! Two-and-a-half hours long! To get by way of it you need the endurance of a long-distance runner.Expand Your Vocal Range
If you're a member of a group that is planning for a lengthy performance such as Messiah, you should commence working on developing your endurance well ahead of the performance date. If you don't presently have an exercise and fitness routine, this would be the right time to start one. Aerobic exercise will help build your endurance; it will also help improve your breath support.
Be especially careful to stay away from getting a cold or other respiratory infection. Recuperation from illness can really sap your endurance. Wash your hands often. If required, carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you and use it often. If you do get a cold, don't try to over-sing while you're getting over it. Save your voice for the performance.
Breath support is vital to vocal endurance. Here's a fantastic exercise to build endurance. You breathe in and out to a steady (mental) count: inhale-2-3-4-exhale-2-3-4. Slowly increase the count. When you can perfectly do that to 7 or 8, add a hold phase: in-2-3-4-hold-2-3-4-out-2-3-4. Again, gradually raise the count. Watch yourself in a mirror to make sure you obtain and maintain good expansion.
Ensure you're using good vocal technique. If you haven't had a voice lesson for some time, schedule a "tune-up" lesson to check and review, and ensure you're doing everything the proper way. Tell your teacher what you're planning for so she can give you certain advice.
As the performance date approaches, you should presently be observing in rehearsal that your endurance is creating. In the week right away before the performance, make sure you get plenty of sleep so you are well-rested. If you're tired at the start of the performance, you'll be depleted at the end of it.
Keep yourself well-hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Carry a water bottle with you to rehearsals and sip from it as often as you can. Miserably you can't do that during the performance, but if there's an intermission you can sip some water then.
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!! If you're going to be standing for most of three hours you need shoes that support your feet without pinching. For men this commonly isn't a problem. Ladies, it is probable to find dress shoes that are comfortable and supportive. Choose flats or heels no higher than about an inch.
In the course of the performance itself, stand with erect but relaxed stance. DON'T lock your knees--you will fatigue much faster if you do. Lastly, let yourself enjoy the great music--you've worked hard to make for it. Sing as if the composer were in the audience--if you challenge!
Maybe you'll have one of those very rare transcendent performances, where everybody, performers and audience alike, is carried to a higher plane of existence for that space of time. When dozens of people work together toward a similar goal, and everything comes together and works, that's a sight of what Heaven might be like.