Handel's Messiah, the oratorio that tells the story of Christ from the prophecy of His birth all the way through His death and resurrection, is a piece of music that is so very simple, yet complex at the same time. Written in 1741, it is Handel's most famous composition, and its Hallelujah chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music.
Handel's Messiah: The Live Experience has been created by Classical Everywhere to launch a new style classical music concert experience. It is important to know that Classical Everywhere is a new venture from Immersive Everywhere which has worked with world-famous titles to create live theatrical experiences such as Doctor Who: Time Fracture, Peaky Blinders: The Rise, and The Great Gatsby, all of them successful immersive shows running in London. The Artistic Director of Classical Everywhere is Gregory Batsleer, who is also the conductor of the performance.
This Live Experience is a bold and imaginary approach: audiences are encouraged to open their minds, sit back, relax and enjoy the innovative staging lights, visual effects (by Terry Cook) and beautiful choreography (by Tom Jackson Greaves). The three dancers - Dan Baines, Jemima Brown and Sera Maehera move with passion and raw emotion.
Stars of the night are the Soprano Danielle de Niese, Opera Singer Nicky Spence, English National Opera regular Idunnu Münch and American Bass-Baritone Cody Quattlebaum, performing alongside the English Chamber Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus.
What makes this a special night is that it breaks the boundaries of classical music and it can be enjoyed by anyone who loves music. It is something different, that has never been tried before, and this is important especially because it takes this genre not just to new audiences but also to young people. A recent report has shown that classical music streams have risen among young fans over the last two years. Will this new approach be good enough to inspire and attract them? Time will tell.
For sure, events like this one (and hopefully other ones will follow) are nights to remember for those who are turning to classical music for the first time and for traditional audiences.
Photo: Craig Fuller