We’re heading back into the Halle Archives for Throwback Thursday! Join us as we delve into history to see what gems are in store...

This autograph book was owned by a fan of the Hallé’s oratorio performances. On the 7th December 1952, they attended the Messiah performance at Belle Vue with a star-studded cast of soloists. Kathleen Ferrier, Ena Mitchell, William Herbert and Frederick Dalberg were supported by the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, conducted by John Barbirolli.
Endearingly, Barbirolli, as well as signing each of his performances the fan attended, wrote a note remarking that “these three beloved Katie’s last performances of these works.” “My Beloved Katie”, as Barbirolli was fond of calling her, had become a good friend of the Barbirollis and a regular guest with the orchestra, performing over 50 times in seven years with the Hallé.
Just three months after this Messiah performance, Kathleen gave her final public performance, also under the baton of Barbirolli.