All the Angels: Handel and the First Messiah
Wanamaker Theatre, Globe 26th June - 6th July 2015, returning December 2016 - January 2017
Directed by Jonathan Munby, with David Horovitch as Handel, Kelly Price as Susannah Cibber, and Sean Campion as Crazy Crow and Charles Jennens. Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah performed by a small ensemble of musicians including members of The Portrait Choir, The National Portrait Gallery’s choir in residence.
All the Angels follows the journey of Handel’s Messiah from its first (not entirely successful) rehearsal by amateur choristers at the Golden Falcon Inn, Chester, via the seemingly insurmountable challenges that face Handel at every turn in Dublin, to its hugely acclaimed first concert performance in Passion Week.
Exploring the relationships between Handel and actor/contralto Susannah Cibber, the tricky librettist Charles Jennens, and the wild-card musicians' porter Crazy Crow, All the Angels tells the story of how the most popular and acclaimed choral work in the world was born out of the most unpromising circumstances.
A fabulous story about the complicated, comedic business of putting on a show, and the absolute power of music.
'An irresistible story... Over the last few years the Globe has pioneered a new sort of musical play, and this may well be the most interesting one yet'
BBC Music Magazine
'...a divine soundtrack of live orchestral and choral performance... a pleasurable exercise in musical historiography'
'Let the trumpet sound for this curious, short-running, honourable candlelit curiosity. It deserves an afterlife'
Libby Purves, TheatreCat
The fact that the final 'Trumpet shall sound' felt almost surplus to requirements was a mark of Drake’s achievement: this isn’t Messiah-lite, but a play in its own right. See it, and you’ll never hear ‘He was despised’ in the same way again.