Apr. 4, 2011
The Shawnee State University Chorus & Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Stanley Workman, Jr., will present J. S. Bach's monumental "St. John Passion" at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 17 at the Second Presbyterian Church, 801 Waller Street, Portsmouth, Ohio. There is no admission charge, and the concert is open to the public.
"St. John Passion" is a dramatic musical setting of the events surrounding the arrest, trial, crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. The text of the work draws from the 18th and 19th chapters of the Gospel of John, with arias, based on 18th century meditative poetry and Lutheran chorales providing commentary and reflection to the dramatic narrative.
"The 'St. John Passion' of J.S. Bach is the most ambitious and challenging musical work that I have had the privilege to prepare and conduct," Workman said. "It is a work that appeals to many types of listeners, both on a musical and spiritual level, and will certainly heighten the celebration of this sacred season."
The performance will be presented in English, and it will be the first complete performance of a major work by J.S. Bach in the area. Justin Wiget, tenor, will perform the role of the Evangelist, and he will also serve as narrator. Bard Suverkrop, bass-baritone, will perform the role of Jesus, and Rick Bender, bass, will perform the role of Pilate. Soloists will be drawn from the choir, as was the custom in Bach's time.
The soloists are Julie Buckler and Shirley Crothers, sopranos; Brittany Nocar and Chelsea Watkins, mezzo-sopranos; Chad Bragdon and Brent Hunt, tenors; and Rick Bender, Bass.
An orchestra of 18 musicians, all under the direction of Workman, will accompany the SSU chorus of nearly forty singers.
The Anna Margaret Stillwell Fund and the Shawnee State Development Foundation are sponsoring the concert.