Handel’s Messiah is arguably the world’s most popular choral work. But its story begins in the unlikely setting of a room above a pub in Chester, when the great Composer, detained by bad weather on his way to a season of concerts in Dublin, invites some unlikely local choristers to rehearse excerpts. It is not a success. So begins Handel’s struggle to stage the premiere of his great new work, confronted by seemingly insurmountable challenges, including the tricky librettist Charles Jennens, the actress Susannah Cibber who he trains to sing the most moving arias, and the mysterious Crazy Crow.
Nick Drake’s divine play about the complicated, comedic business of putting on a show returns to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse after a sell-out run in 2015, featuring the original cast of Sean Campion, David Horovitch and Kelly Price.
The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. They have cultivated a unique reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance and a diversity of 20th- and 21st-century music under conductor and founder, Harry Christophers. Alumni from Genesis Sixteen include: Tom Castle, Nancy Cole, Camilla Harris, Rebekah Jones, Angus McPhee, Ben Vonberg-Clark, Daisy Walford, and Jamie Wright.
Musicians in this production include: Michael Haslam (Harpsichord); Naomi Burrell (Violin); Jo Levine (Cello); Jorge Jimenez (Violin); and Adrian Woodward (Trumpet).