CHARLOTTE – Director David Tang will lead a rare, semi-staged performance of J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion” at 7:30 p.m. April 1 in the Sharon Presbyterian Church sanctuary.
“St. John Passion” is one of the most dramatic and spiritually profound portrayals of Christ’s last hours. Performers include Tang’s semi-professional chorus – VOX, the Wingate University Chamber Singers, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and world-class vocal soloists.
“What distinguishes the ‘St. John Passion’ from other choral works is Bach’s extraordinary musical setting of the text’s violent and dramatic narrative. In both, humanity is portrayed at its worst – full of weakness and malice, while Christ is presented as the omnipotent and all-righteous God who willingly submits to a horrible death with love and grace,” Tang said. “Bach captures this enormous spiritual divide between God and man by contrasting some of his most savage and groundbreaking music with some of his most ardent and sublime. The ‘St. John Passion’ is one of the greatest explorations of human iniquity, love and forgiveness.”
The ‘St. John Passion’ is normally performed in concert, but this performance will semi-stage the action and include dance.
“In our ongoing efforts to foster cutting-edge artistic collaboration, we are working with baroque stage director and choreographer Paige Whitley-Bauguess as well as several dancers to perform the passion as it has never been seen in Charlotte. The task is difficult because some of the music is far more complex than music you might find in an opera, for example. We also face the relatively uncharted challenge of staging music that was never intended as musical theater. Our hope is to enhance, not detract from the work’s profound spiritual message of love and redemption.”
Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.
Buy tickets at www.voxfirebird.org.