UC’s College-Conservatory of Music will showcase J.S. Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion at Cincinnati’s Christ Church Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. Conducted by CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers with stage direction from artist diploma candidate Andreas Hager, the performance features faculty artist Daniel Weeks and student aria soloists.
Known for its stunning choruses, interplay between recitative and aria and sublime storytelling, St. Matthew Passion has made an enduring mark in music history as a sublime example of a musical setting of the passion story. Thanks in part to a grant from the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, CCM’s staged performance illuminates the dramatic intensity of this Baroque masterwork, which retells the compelling story of the events leading up to the trial of Jesus, his crucifixion and burial.
“Bach was interested in the spiritual drama of the crucifixion, not only of Jesus but of society,” said Hager, a first-year artist diploma candidate in opera stage direction. “Our production explores the moral culpability we all face living in a complex world. From Judas to Peter to Pilate — no one can escape from the consequences of their choices.”
“Our production is spare and minimalist, allowing the full force of Bach’s music to take the forefront.”
The CCM Chamber Choir, Cincinnati Children’s Choir and CCM Philharmonia will combine forces to perform this massive work. To make this work come to life on stage, the CCM production emphasizes the piece’s storylines by designating arias to specific characters.
The story is presented by a narrator called the Evangelist, played by faculty artist Daniel Weeks, tenor, with student soloists as Jesus (Samson McCrady, bass-baritone), Pilate (Christian Pursell, baritone) and aria singers (Ashley Fabian and Jackie Stevens, sopranos; Reilly Nelson and Paulina Villarreal, mezzo-sopranos; Thomas J. Capobianco, tenor and Eric Shane Heatley and Joseph Mazzara, baritones).
CCM has a long history with St. Matthew Passion, which dates back to a February 1970 performance that featured alumna Kathleen Battle (MM Voice, 1971) singing the aria, “Aus liebe.” The college most recently performed the work in November, 2011. This staged performance, held at Cincinnati’s St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, was the first of its kind in the Midwest.
Join us for CCM’s latest production of this iconic masterwork. St. Matthew Passion will be performed at 3 p.m. on Palm Sunday, April 9 at Christ Church Cathedral, located at 318 East Fourth Street.
3 p.m. Sunday, April 9
Christ Church Cathedral
318 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45246
Single tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.
Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.
Christ Church Cathedral is located at the corners of Fourth and Sycamore Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. For directions and additional information, please refer to http://cincinnaticathedral.com/belong.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Sponsored by the Cambridge Charitable Foundation