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When you ask tenor soloist Michael Colvin why you should come to St Matthew Passion (May 11 at Emmanuel United Church) he sums it up perfectly: “It’s a chance to connect with one of the most important, enduring pieces of music ever written.” Michael, who performs the role of St Matthew, the Evangelist and narrator of the story, says it’s “more than just another choir concert.”

“Full of rousing choruses, gorgeous, contemplative arias and familiar chorales and hymn tunes, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is a MUST for any music lover!”

St Matthew Passion is also the foundation of much of the music we know and love today, from opera to pop, as countertenor Ian Sabourin notes. He describes the sound as “mesmerizing.”

“There is nothing like getting lost in a wall of sound with Bach’s counterpoint,” says Ian. “It cannot be described, you just have to hear it.”

There’s a deep spiritual aspect to the work, but whether or not you’re familiar with the religious narrative soprano soloist Janelle Lucyk points out that there is “something profoundly moving” about the Passion.

“Bach was a master of taking the human condition and translating it into music,” says Janelle. “Even in the darkest moments of the Passion story, Bach’s music offers glimpses of light and redemption.”

The Peterborough Singers performance of St Matthew Passion provides a rare opportunity to hear this masterpiece as it’s not widely performed, in part due its sheer magnitude. Not only will you hear the Singers essentially become two choirs, you’ll also hear the Bach Children’s Chorus and an array of talented instrumentalists. And, as bass soloist Alex Dobson notes, Bach’s music brings “a technical challenge that is unmatched by any other composer.”

“The St Matthew Passion is probably one of Bach’s most complex pieces using such large forces,” says Alex. “It is quite an undertaking and I’m proud to be part of this performance with the Peterborough Singers.”


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Tickets to St Matthew Passion (May 11, 2024, 7 p.m.) are available through the Peterborough Singers’ website as well as Pammett’s Flower Shop, Ashburnham Foot & Ankle Centre and Happenstance Books & Yarns (Lakefield).

The concert takes place at Emmanuel United Church: 534 George St N, Peterborough, ON

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