It is with much sadness that we have taken the decision to postpone our literature festival. Given current conditions and advice, we want to ensure that all our audiences, authors, volunteers and staff remain as healthy as possible and we feel it is our duty and responsibility to protect others by not proceeding with our events at this time.

We are currently investigating options for rescheduling events and ask that you bear with us in the meantime whilst we talk with different venues and authors. We are also in talks with our box office - run externally - and appreciate your patience whilst we finalise information for those who have purchased tickets for events due to take place at the end of March. We will keep you informed as soon as we have further information.

Thank you all for your continued support - as a charity we rely so much on income from our audiences and sponsors to keep running and hope that, however uncertain the future is at present, we can continue to bring high-quality, inspiring multi-arts experiences to the Midlands.

(Last Updated: 17th March)

Lichfield Festival Box Office:
01543 306 150
Published date: July 16, 2019
Last modified: July 16, 2019

Young Critics Review 2019 – Messiah (by Natalie Borenstein)

Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah was introduced at the beginning of the performance as one of his most incredible spiritual and musical works. It is said that, when Handel completed his setting of The Messiah, he wept at his achievement which had, in his eyes, awakened Heaven before him.

In fitting floods of colour, the stage was lit in red, with illuminated purple and blue columns.

The performance was a ‘Come and Sing’ event that was heavily based around universal musical participation and community engagement. Due to this, the Messiah was sung by a range of abilities.

Starting with the Sinfony in the form of a French Overture, the orchestral performance held a lively baroque tone that playfully linked the slow double dotted section to the fast fugal section with passion and tenderness.

Patrick Craig, the conductor, was both vivacious and precise. However, following the deep but heavily vibrato filled solos, the choir’s chorus ‘And The Glory of The Lord’ was compromised by the constant drifts from the tempo. This was a recurring theme throughout the event and was partially due to the mixed conducting given by Craig (who had set a pace which was visibly too fast for the choir). The focus on community engagement altered the standard of the Messiah considerably, but did not alter the refreshing enthusiasm of the singers.

In addition, despite off-timing at intervals, the altos and first sopranos provided uplifting blocks of strength for the overall performance, stabilised by their own effort and the support of a brilliant continuo player and orchestra; as a rule, the orchestra was fervent and naturally in time with the conductor’s pulse and the ground-breaking, cacophonous emotion of Handel’s Messiah.

By Natalie Borenstein (age 15)