'A night framed by history': Staged Messiah in review

The Apostles are desolate at the loss of their charismatic leader, with their faith put to the ultimate test. Yet from the depths of such despair comes renewed conviction: theirs is a mission to redeem the world by sharing the news of Jesus’s life and death with all humanity.

Such conviction was matched only by our newly staged Messiah, a collaboration with director Tom Morris and the Bristol Old Vic, and the rapturous applause that greeted it.

‘This is the second time that the Bristol Old Vic’s director has staged Messiah,…That scratch performance has matured into something refreshingly direct and impactful, with the English Concert, nestled either side of the stage, and its director Harry Bicket lending classy baroque accompaniment. Morris cleverly uses the 18th‐century auditorium’s intimacy and dry acoustic to draw us in; I felt an active part of the events unfolding in front, above and around me. Perhaps the cheers and whoops at the end suggested others felt that way too.’ – The Times 4*

‘It was a night framed by history: the gold fixtures of the oldest working theatre in Britain encircling the performance of a semistaged Handel’s Messiah. Before Tom Morris’ decision to dramatise Handel’s oratorio for the Bristol Proms in 2013, the Messiah had not been performed at the Bristol Old Vic since 1782. Morris was keen to highlight this lineage as he took to the stage; reinforcing the sense of occasion through historical precedent…’ – Reviews Hub

‘On opening night, The English Concert orchestra more than prove their credentials as one of Europe’s leading Baroque orchestras; under the baton of Harry Bicket the orchestra was both dramatically energetic and sensitive in their interpretation. Bicket’s leadership only enhanced by his animated playing at the harpsichord. In particular Nadja Zwiener, as lead violin, is an expressive presence; her performance both lightening quick and touchingly lyrical.’ – Reviews Hub

‘Tom Morris’ Bristol Proms were created with the aim of making classical music accessible. As the director’s semi‐staged production of Handel’s Messiah proves – revived here following its 2013 premiere – this sentiment is far more than a buzzword.
Performed by the Erebus Ensemble and Baroque orchestra The English Concert, the composer’s most famous work is made to feel notably fresh. And the most familiar passages – the Hallelujah Chorus in particular – sound astonishingly beautiful.’ – The Stage


New Partnership with Apple Music

We are also delighted to announce a new partnership with Apple Music who have produced a number of films from the performance. Get a glimpse of our new staging by clicking on the links below: 

Behold The Lamb of God

Hallelujah!

All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray

How Beautiful Are The Feet of Them


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