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Event Archive - JS Bach's St. John Passion: Benjamin Butterfield, Nathan McDonald, Jane Long, Sarah Fryer, Josh Lovell, Nathaniel Watson, Christi Meyers

Sat. April 4th 2015 First Metropolitan United Church Victoria BC (All Ages)
7:30pm - 9:30pm doors at 7:00pm
$30 regular, $15 for students, children under 12 free
Tickets at: Ivy's Bookshop, Tanner's Books, The Shieling, Munro's Books,, Possibly at the door.

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On the eve of Easter, Peter Butterfield and the Victoria Philharmonic Choir offer J.S. Bach's dramatic - even operatic - setting of the story of Christ's final days and crucifixion. The story-telling role of the Evangelist will be sung by tenor Benjamin Butterfield, with bass-baritone Nathan McDonald as Christus, and soprano Jane Long, mezzo-soprano Sarah Fryer, tenor Josh Lovell and Montreal-based baritone Nathaniel Watson. Victoria Symphony violinist Christi Meyers leads the orchestra of musicians brought together for the occasion for their skills in baroque repertoire.

The oldest of Bach's Passion settings, the St. John was composed for a Good Friday Vespers service in 1724, and would originally have been wrapped around a sermon. While it is now most often heard in a concert hall, conductor Peter Butterfield, who has performed as both Evangelist and tenor soloist on a number of occasions, plans a semi-staged production that tosses out the usual 19th century-style formality and brings the audience closer to the story. It is through the semi-staged aspect that the drama will manifest itself, both through the characters in the story, and through the reflective arias.

In a series of theatrical choruses, and chorales based on 17th-century Lutheran hymns, the 70-voice choir reflects the emotions of the crowd, whether angry, mocking and defiant, or anxiously pleading for spiritual comfort.

This performance is dedicated to the memory of Belsonia Bogatin Paul (1920-2014), a generous supporter of VPC and other performing arts and community organizations.

This concert is presented with the generous support of Vancouver Foundation. Each year, Vancouver Foundation and its donors make more than 5,300 grants, totaling approximately $50 million to registered charities across Canada. To learn more,visit


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