No 2 Passion 1

Fri 8th June 2018  »  7:30 pm

– J. S. Bach: Johannes-Passion, BWV 245 (Ballett)

Leipziger Ballett, Martin Petzold (tenor – Evangelist), Alexander Knight (bass – Jesus), Magdalena Hinterdobler (soprano), Benno Schachtner (altus), Wolfram Lattke (tenor – arias), Sejong Chang (bass – arias), Chor der Oper Leipzig, Alexander Stessin (preparation of the choir), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Mario Schröder (choreography), Paul Zoller (set design, costumes), direction: Paul Goodwin

An Opera Leipzig event
Ticket prices: € 82,30 | 74,60 | 68,00 | 55,90 | 44,90 | 38,30; concessions on request

A few years before Bach took up the post of Thomaskantor in Leipzig, his predecessor Johann Kuhnau had begun the tradition of singing a lengthy, two-part Passion music at vespers on Good Friday. This alternated every year between the churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. Bach continued this practice and contributed at least three of his own compositions to the Passion repertoire in Leipzig, two of which – the »St. John Passion« and the »St. Matthew Passion« – have come down to us in several versions. Of the »St. Mark Passion«, however, we have only the libretto, although from this it has been possible to reconstruct some parts of the music. With his elaborate Passion settings lasting several hours, Bach placed great emphasis on the Good Friday vespers and ensured that during his incumbency, the service developed into the most important annual musical event of the year in Leipzig. But the musical offerings of Holy Week took top priority in other centres of Baroque music too. For example, Reinhard Keiser created a major sensation in Hamburg in 1704 with a performance of the Passion oratorio »Der blutige und sterbende Jesus« based on a libretto by Christian Friedrich Hunold, while three decades later, Jan Dismas Zelenka performed oratorios in Italian at the Catholic court of Dresden during the week before Easter. At the 2018 Bach Festival, Keiser’s Passion oratorio will be performed in the 1729 version, the only one that has come down to us.