Grand Philharmonic Choir to perform St. Matthew Passion on Good Friday

The Grand Philharmonic Choir will pre­sent St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach, on April 10, at Centre in the Square.

Artistic Director Howard Dyck will conduct the Grand Philharmonic and Children’s Choirs, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and a group of world-class soloists.

Internationally renowned ten­or Rufus Müller, who has been described recently in the New York Times as “easily the best tenor I have ever heard …” will sing the demanding role of the Evangelist, who tells the story. This will be his debut in Waterloo Region.

Countertenor Daniel Taylor, and tenor Lawrence Wiliford, both of whom performed in the Grand Chamber Choir’s recent Messiah concerts, will be joined by baritone Nathaniel Wat­son, soprano Nathalie Paul­in, and baritone Nathan Berg.

Bach’s settings of both the St. Matthew and St. John ac­counts of the Good Friday story are as monumental and drama­tic as the story they tell.

Soloists sing the words of various characters. In addition to Jesus, there are named parts for Judas, Peter, two high priests, Pontius Pilate, Pilate’s wife, two witnesses and two ancillae (maids).

Two duets are sung by a pair of soloists rep­resenting two simultaneous speak­ers, and a number of passages for several speakers, called turba (or crowd) parts, are sung by the choirs.

These annual performances have become eagerly-awaited events in Waterloo Region. Dyck said, "The St. Matthew Passion is universally regarded as one of the great achieve­ments of western civilization.

“From its German Lutheran roots, it rises to speak for the hopes and fears of all people, regardless of colour and creed. I have conducted this peerless masterpiece many times, and I must say that every time is a revelation for me. Bach’s blaz­ing musical genius and his deep humanity are a constant in­spiration to me.

“The Grand Phil­harmonic Choir has been pre­senting the great choral works of Bach on an annual basis since 1984. This performance promises to be the best yet. The choir has never sounded better, and our solo roster is world class.”

The show runs April 10 at 7:30pm at Centre In The Square. Tickets range from $60 to $20. Senior tickets run from $54  to $18.

To order, visit the Centre in the Square Box office; or call 519-578-1570/1-800-265-8977.