Armidale’s own chamber choir and orchestra, Fiori Musicali, is preparing to present their performance of St John Passion in Armidale and Guyra after having to cancel the originally planned performance in 2020.
Fiori Musicali was founded in 1993. Membership has always been by invitation, with many of the singers being professional musicians and music teachers. The choir functions as a musical collective, with members welcome to suggest and conduct programs. The J.S. Bach masterpiece of St John Passion was originally planned to be performed by the group in 2020, before Covid-19 lockdowns necessitated the cancellation of the shows.
Bach’s St John Passion is a setting of the Passion story as related in St John’s Gospel. The words sung are taken from the biblical passage traditionally read on Good Friday, John 18 and 19. This tells the story of Jesus being captured, led before Kaiphas and Pontius Pilate, judged, crucified and put to death. The biblical passage is presented by the solo tenor (the Evangelist), and the various roles (Jesus, Pilate, the disciples and the people) are taken by the other singers. At key moments, Bach added well-known hymns, which are sung and played by the whole ensemble. It is regarded as a complicated and emotional masterpiece.
“You can enjoy this music on so many levels: firstly, purely for its sublimely beautiful music; but it is also spiritually insightful and richly human, as well as engaging and inspiring,” Fiori Musicali conductor Bruce Menzies said.
The local performance will be sung in English (rather than the traditional German) by a superb cast of soloists headed by Elias Wilson as the Evangelist; Aidan O’Donnell as Christ; Ziggy Harris as Pilate; and soloists Sarah Adeney, Leanne Roobol and Rowena Moon, supported by the continuo players Sofia Debus and Robyn Bradley. The choir will also be joined by a string ensemble lead by Eliza Scott, recorder players Alana Blackburn and Lauren Grzaz and oboists Neil Simpson and Li Ling Chen.
Fiori Musicalli will perform J.S. Bach’s St John Passion at:
The Australian Poetry Hall of Fame in Guyra, Saturday 25 March at 3pm buy tickets
TAS Hoskins Centre, The Armidale School, Sunday March 26 at 3pm buy tickets
Tickets available at the door or online from Trybooking.