St John Passion

Johann Sebastian Bach - Autumn 2016

Soloists from ETO and the Old Street Band collaborate with local cathedral, gospel and youth choirs to present Bach’s St John Passion.

Conductor 
Jonathan Peter Kenny
Director 
James Conway
Orchestra 
Old Street Band

My profound thanks for what was an outstanding evening! I am very involved in life at the Cathedral but have never been so moved by it.

Audience member (Rochester)

It was amazing. The way the cast interacted and the animated singing and playing were a revelation and really brought out all the drama of this work. Don’t think I will ever forget this evening!

Audience member (Rochester)

I was very fortunate to attend the performance at Rochester Cathedral – what an incredibly moving and thrilling experience. I can honestly say that I have never before been so moved by a performance of any piece of music. I had to hold back tears as I listened spellbound for the whole evening. It was clear from talking to other members of the audience afterwards that they also felt that this was a very special occasion.

Audience member (Rochester)

Deeply personal, inspiring and questioning in equal parts, Bach’s St John Passion is a brilliant reflection of that extraordinary gospel and one of the highest points in Western civilisation.

It opens with an impassioned cry to God, written in the plain language of an earnest witness and full of restlessness and desire. Between this opening and the final, magnificent chorus, we are called to face up to some of the most basic questions in life, all in the form of an urgent, unsentimental story.

ETO plans a new kind of performance of this masterpiece, in collaboration with more than thirty choirs around the country and featuring new English translations of the chorales from writers of different faiths and backgrounds.

Running time: 1 hour 47 minutes

English translations
Gordon Matthews: O grosse Lieb, O Lieb ohn alle Masse
Maitreyabandhu: Dein Will gescheh, Herr Gott, zugleich
Chibundu Onuzo: Wer hat dich so geschlagen
Tim Yealland: Himmel Reisse / Jesu, deine Passion
Dr John Sentamu: Petrus, der nicht denkt zurück
Canon Dr Giles Fraser: Christus, der uns selig macht
Abigail Morris: Ach grosser König
John McCarthy): Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn
The Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper: In meines Herzens Grunde
A.L. Kennedy: Er nahm alles wohl in acht
Dr Rowan Williams: O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn
Marina Warner: Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein

Showing At

  1. Rochester Cathedral
    16th Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm
  2. Wiltshire Music Centre
    23rd Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm
  3. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
    5th Nov 2016 - 3:00 pm
  4. Blackheath Halls
    6th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  5. The Octagon Centre, Sheffield
    13th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  6. Lichfield Cathedral
    20th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  7. Exeter Cathedral
    25th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  8. Blackpool Citadel
    2nd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm
  9. St John's Church, Workington
    3rd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm
  10. Lancaster Priory
    4th Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm
  1. Rochester Cathedral — 16th Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester, ME1 1SX

  2. Wiltshire Music Centre — 23rd Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1DZ

  3. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden — 5th Nov 2016 - 3:00 pm

    Audley End Road, Saffron Walden , CB11 4UH

  4. Blackheath Halls — 6th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm

    SE3 9RQ

  5. The Octagon Centre, Sheffield — 13th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TQ

  6. Lichfield Cathedral — 20th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm

    19A The Close, WS13 7LD

  7. Exeter Cathedral — 25th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm

    1 The Cloisters, Exeter, EX1 1HS

  8. Blackpool Citadel — 2nd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm

    FY1 4EL

  9. St John's Church, Workington — 3rd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Washington Street, Workington, CA14 3DS

  10. Lancaster Priory — 4th Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm

    LA1 1XB

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Conductor

Jonathan is from Liverpool and studied at the University of Exeter and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is a founder of the Old Street Band.

He has performed a wide range of music from Monteverdi to the present day, including 14 Handel operas, 13 oratorios and numerous premieres for composers such as Michael Nyman, Jonathan Dove, Pawel Mykietyn, Fabio Vacchi, Deirdre Gribbin, Thomas Ades and Roxanna Panufnik. He has sung for the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Salzburg Festival, Halle Handel Festival, Badischestaatsteater Karlsruhe, BBC Proms, Glimmerglass Festival NY, Teatr Wielki Warsaw, Opera du Rhin and in Australia and Japan.

Jonathan has performed with Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, Gabrieli Consort, Ulster Orchestra under such conductors as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, David Parry, Ivan Fischer, Thierry Fischer, Jane Glover, Andrew Parrott, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Ivor Bolton, Paul McCreesh, Harry Bicket. Recordings include Mattheus-Passion (Miller/Goodwin); Agrippina (Gardiner); Buxtehude/Cantatas (Immerseel); La conversione di Clodoveo (Gester); Israel in Babylon (Fontaine).

Jonathan is baroque specialist at the Royal College of Music International Opera School and prepared singers for Handel’s Poro, Atalanta, Alessandro, Il pastor fido and Rodelinda, as well as Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Michael Rosewell whom he also assisted on Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. For Trinity-Laban, Jonathan worked on Giustino and Rinaldo.

Jonathan’s performing edition of Tamerlano has been performed in London, Melbourne, Lisbon, Dublin and Prague.

After many years leading his own ensembles, Jonathan made his operatic conducting debut in 2005 with a staging of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater on Valentia Island for artist Dorothy Cross and OTC Dublin. The film was shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and in Los Angeles. In 2007 he conducted a new production of Handel’s Teseo for ETO, touring the UK, and in 2009 a new production of Flavio which opened to great enthusiasm as part of the HANDELFEST marking the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. From these performances, a new period instrument orchestra, the Old Street Band, was formed, making a highly acclaimed debut in autumn 2011 in a new production of Xerxes. Other appearances include a staging of Carissimi’s Jephte for the National Churches Trust; Monteverdi: 1610 and all that at the RCM and a highly praised The Duchess of Malfi Webster/Gesualdo at the Royal and Derngate Theatre Northampton.

Plans include a revival of Flavio, a production of Alcina in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, where Ariosto (author of Orlando furioso on which Alcina is based) was governor, in summer 2012, a reconstruction of Muzio Scevola (Amadei/Buoncini/Handel) and a new production of Agrippina.

James Conway

James Conway

Director

General Director of ETO, James Conway has directed 24 new productions and 4 revivals for the company, including Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais (to be revived in 2015), Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena and Handel’s Alcina, Ariodante, Teseo, Tolomeo, Flavio, Xerxes and Agrippina. Other notable ETO productions include Eugene Onegin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Simon Boccanegra, The Emperor of Atlantis and the world première of Alexander Goehr’s Promised End. For RCM he directed L’incoronazione di Poppea and Le nozze di Figaro, and for the Canadian Opera Company Don Giovanni. His production of The Cunning Little Vixen is in repertory at the Moravian National Theatre in Janacek’s home city of Brno. He has written original libretti for 2 operas and translations for 5 others, as well as several works of fiction; his most recent translation was last season’s Agrippina. Upcoming productions include Giulio Cesare (Lucca) and Ottone (ETO).

Old Street Band

Old Street Band

Orchestra

Cast

John-Colyn Gyeantey

John-Colyn Gyeantey

British tenor John Gyeantey is steadily gaining a reputation as a fine exponent of the bel canto repertoire. As a high tenor, he has a facility to sustain the tessitura essential for the speciality roles of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Accademia Rossiniana, Pesaro, where he worked closely with Alberto Zedda, and began his training at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio as a Peter Moores Foundation Major Scholar. In 2015, John performed the role of Luke in Tippett’s The Ice Break for Birmingham Opera Company and toured throughout the UK and Europe with Diva Opera as Normanno, Lucia di Lammermoor and Basilio, Le nozze di Figaro.

Nick Pritchard

Nick Pritchard

Born in West Sussex, Nick Pritchard sang in the choir of New College, Oxford (where he read music) and studied with Russell Smythe at The Royal College of Music International Opera School (RCMIOS), where, on graduation, he was awarded the Eric Joseph Shilling Prize. He was awarded The London Bach Society Bach Singer’s Prize in 2013 and is a Samling Artist.

Concert appearances include Haydn’s The Seasons for The English Haydn Festival, Winter Words for the Oxford Lieder Festival, Messiah for The Instruments of Time and Truth (c. Edward Higginbottom) in Barcelona, the St. Matthew Passion for St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota (c. Paul McCreesh) and Beethoven’s Missa Solemenis (c. Stephen Cleobury), the Bach Missae Breves and Christmas Oratorio on European Tour with Pygmalion, Messiah with the Nieuwe Philharmonie in the Netherlands, King Arthur (c. Christian Curnyn, The Early Opera Company, Wigmore Hall), Bach’s Mass in B minor (c. Sir John-Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists), Messiah (c. Brian Kay, English Festival Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall) and with the Nieuwe Philharmonie in Utrecht, Bach Cantatas for Ensemble Pygmalion and Raphaël Pichon, the Bach Magnificat (c. Laurence Cummings, The English Concert), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (c. Daniel Hyde), the St. John Passion (c. Robert Quinney, The Choir of New College, Oxford), the St. Matthew Passion (Leith Hill Music Festival), Vaughan-Williams’ On Wenlock Edge for BBC Radio 3, Die Schöne Müllerin (Elgar Room, The Royal Albert Hall with Gary Matthewman) Britten’s Spring Symphony (c. David Hill), Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (c. John Rutter), Winter Words (Brighton Festival with Simon Lepper) and the world première of Gabriel Jackson’s Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ with the choir of Merton College, Oxford.

Recent opera roles include title role Ruggiero in Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggierio for The Brighton Early Music Festival, Aquilio in J.C. Bach’s Adriano in Siria (c. Ian Page with the Classical Opera Company), Albert Herring for the RCMIOS, Prologue The Turn of the Screw for Opera Holland Park, Telemaco The Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts (c. Christian Curnyn), Paulino The Secret Marriage (British Youth Opera – for which he won the Dame Hilda Bracket award from Sadler’s Wells), Tamino, Lucano L’incoronazione di Poppea and Torquemada L’heure espagnole for the RCMIOS, title role Acis and Galatea for Handel House and _La Nuova Musica- (c. Laurence Cummings).

Current Season/future plans: the première of Matthew Pleasure (Mark Simpson) for Opera North (house début)/Aldeburgh/Linbury; Telemachus Ulysses’ Homecoming and Mercurio La Calisto for English Touring Opera; concerts for the Cheltenham Bach Choir, the Leith Hill Music Festival and in Chester Cathedral.

Andrew Slater

Andrew Slater

Mr Andrew Slater will sing the role of Scarpia on 30 March (Snape), 25 April (Cambridge), 3 May (Buxton), 16 May (Durham), 23 May (Exeter) and 29 May (Truro).

Andrew studied at Royal Northern College of Music and St Petersburg Conservatoire. He has performed more than 75 opera roles including Lotario, Ariodate, Falstaff, Bottom, Bartolo, Blitch, Alfonso, Donald and Araspe (All ETO); Ben Selim (Royal Opera House), Nachtigal (Grange Park Opera), Golaud (Glyndebourne Touring Opera), Faninal (Scottish Opera), Basilio (Welsh National Opera), Sacristan (Opera North), Colline (English National Opera) etc.

Recordings include Nyman, Love Counts and Mozart 252 (MNR); Michael Berkeley, Jane Eyre (Chandos); Stravinsky, The Flood (Twentieth Century Classics).

Peter Brathwaite

Peter Brathwaite

George Humphreys

George Humphreys

Susanna Fairbairn

Susanna Fairbairn

Galina Averina

Galina Averina

Galina Averina studied vocal performance in Russian University of Theatre Arts in Moscow. Laureate of international contests, she has participated in performances in France, Ireland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia and England.

Her roles have included Brigitta in Iolanta (Tchaykovsky), Frascita in Carmen (Bizet) and Ksenia in Boris Godunov (Musorgsky). In July 2013 she sang Despina in Cosi fan tutte (Mozart) on Dubrovnik Summer Festival (director – Sally Burgess, conductor -Oliver Gilmour).

Participated in Les Azuriales Russian Festival in Nice (April 2013) and Les Azuriales Young Artist’s Competition and Masterclass (August 2013), where won Haidee Saretski Prize.

Katie Bray

Katie Bray

Robert Anthony Gardiner

Robert Anthony Gardiner

Martha Jones

Martha Jones

Martha Jones’ current and future engagements include LISETTA Il mondo della Luna, MATILDA cover Ottone English Touring Opera, GOFFREDO Rinaldo Longborough Festival and 2nd WITCH Macbeth Scottish Opera.

Most recent engagements include NANCY Albert Herring English Touring Opera, COUNTESS CEPRANO Rigoletto Opéra-Théâtre Limoges, OLGA Eugene Onegin Southbank Sinfonia, EDITH (cover) Pirates of Penzance Scottish Opera, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder New English Ballet Theatre, Recital Showcase Wigmore Hall (with Malcolm Martineau and Sir Thomas Allen), St. John’s Smith Square and St. Barbabas, as well as a recording of Schubert Romanze BBC Philharmonic (cond. Paul Daniel).

Martha studied at Durham University, as well as with Janis Kelly at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. Whilst at the RCM she received the Baroness de Turckheim award, an MBF award, the Marjorie and Dorothy Whyte Memorial Award and a Susan Chilcott Scholarship. She was also supported in her studies by the Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and the Josephine Baker Trust. Martha was a finalist in the Great Elm Vocal Award 2010, and she was awarded prizes in the RCM Schumann Competition and the Chelsea Schubert Festival.

Martha is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and a Samling Scholar and has given recitals at St John’s Smith Square, the National Portrait Gallery and for the Ryedale Festival with Christopher Glynn.

‘No praise too high for the continuo support from the Old Street Band: a period-instrument ensemble with an unerring feel for idiom.’

Independent

‘The Old Street Band plays like a charm for Jonathan Peter Kenny; a gorgeous reading, flowing and spruce, that never fails to support the singers and favour the drama.’

What’s On Stage

“Fabulous setting, lovely to see this in Sheffield”

Audience member, Sheffield

“Can I just take this opportunity to say THANK YOU! On behalf of Cantamus, but also WMC, thanks for all your help in making sure the concert went smoothly. We all really enjoyed it and as soon as I left the stage I said, “Can we do it again?!”

Clara Atkins, Programme & Events Co-Ordinator, Wiltshire Music Centre

Showing At

  1. Rochester Cathedral
    16th Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm
  2. Wiltshire Music Centre
    23rd Oct 2016 - 7:30 pm
  3. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
    5th Nov 2016 - 3:00 pm
  4. Blackheath Halls
    6th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  5. The Octagon Centre, Sheffield
    13th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  6. Lichfield Cathedral
    20th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  7. Exeter Cathedral
    25th Nov 2016 - 7:30 pm
  8. Blackpool Citadel
    2nd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm
  9. St John's Church, Workington
    3rd Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm
  10. Lancaster Priory
    4th Dec 2016 - 7:30 pm

Your Comments

  1. Thank you for an outstanding performance last Sunday evening at Lichfield Cathedral. The production managed to exceed very high expectations and will feature amongst my personal greatest experiences.

    Said john lovesey at 08:42am on 23rd Nov 2016

  2. Thank you for this very special opportunity to sing in the most wonderful production of Bach's St. John Passion. The drama and pathos from both the singers and orchestra will stay with me for a long time.

    Said Lyndsay Fielder at 17:11pm on 3rd Dec 2016

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed the performance at Lancaster Priory. It was my first experience of the St Johns Passion. The soloists brought it to life and the band was outstanding. The choir from Lancaster and the surrounding area were icing on the cake. Please come again.

    Said Mark Edwards at 16:41pm on 5th Dec 2016

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