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In the opening program of their 2019 season, Director Douglas Lawrence and the Australian Chamber Choir are joined by the Melbourne Baroque Orchestra to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s resplendent musical masterpiece, the St John Passion across regional Victoria and Melbourne in April and May.
Renowned in Australia and throughout Europe the Australian Chamber Choir (ACC), founded in 2007 by its current director Douglas Lawrence OAM, transports its audience using the oldest instrument on the planet – the human voice.
For this concert the sublime voices of soloists Timothy Reynolds (Evangelist), Oliver Mann (Pilate), Jerzy Kozlowski (Jesus), Elspeth Bawden and Elizabeth Anderson together with the 18 other choristers will be joined by instrumentalists playing rare period instruments for a rich sonic experience.
“The St John Passion was the first major work composed by Bach as Cantor at the Church of St Thomas’, Leipzig. Written for his first Easter there, it’s designed to impress. It’s mesmerising, texturally fascinating, highly dramatic and I think that Bach’s excitement at this important stage in his life is palpable”, explains the ACC’s founding director, Douglas Lawrence.
“Many of the instruments chosen for this work were rarely heard even in Bach’s time. He supplemented the usual orchestra with oboes d’amore, oboes da caccia and a viola da gamba, lending a distinctive and contrasting sound to the solo arias. When such a work is performed using modern instruments, much of its unique character is lost. We are fortunate to have fantastic specialist instrumentalists to inspire us with an exciting and authentic sound”, concludes Lawrence.
The Australian Chamber Choir will also be performing Bach’s St John Passion in Hamilton on Sun 7 April at St Andrews, MACEDON Sat 13 April at Church of the Resurrection, and CLUNES on Sun 5 May at St Paul’s.