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Australian Chamber Choir presents Bach's St John Passion

Home > Melbourne > Classical Music | Easter | Escape the City | Opera
by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Choir and orchestra blend as one
Take an acoustically superior atmosphere Scot's Church Cathedral, then add the sublime voices of the Australian Chamber Choir, plus the Melbourne Baroque Orchestra and you get a spine-tingling brilliant concert. It is almost seamless, where the voices end and the orchestra begins. Douglas Lawrence, OAM and founder of the Australian Chamber Choir, has fashioned and directs this superb concert that celebrates all things Bach and leaves you with tears of joy,

Scot's Church and Cathedral
Scot's Church and Cathedral - All photos by Tricia Ziemer

The Orchestra, with Concert Master Shane Lestideau, itself uses some instruments you may never have heard before in your life, nor Bach's, including the viola da gamba and oboes da caccia. They soar to the roof with the solo arias. These add a resonance you have never experienced before and add so much more depth to Bach's Passion. Bach wrote this piece in 1724, his first year at St Thomas' Church Leipzig. And it is still timeless to this day, but this rendition is a priceless, once in a lifetime experience.

Introduction of Bach's St John's Passion
Introduction of Bach's St John's Passion

Playing to a packed house at Scot's Cathedral, the applause at the end of the 2 hours went on and on and on. Many of the audience standing to clap.

Packed Cathederal Audience Entralled
Packed Cathederal Audience Enthralled

This concert featured some of our Australian Great soloists including Evangelist and tenor soloist Timothy Reynolds, Jerzy Kozlowski as a booming deep voice Jesus, Oliver Mann as Pilatus and bass soloist, Ameila Jones as Ancilla, Tanum Shipp as Servus, Kieran MacFarlane and alto soloist Elizabeth Anderson. But for me, the voice that was hauntingly beautiful was Elspeth Bawden. It is a voice I will remember forever. The icing on the cake of this celebration of Easter and Bach.

Director Douglas Lawrence OAM creates the magic
Director Douglas Lawrence OAM creates the magic

What I also thoroughly enjoyed was having a program guide with both the German and English Translation to follow along with. My husband is German, and I am beginning to have an ear for it, after listening to family for 30 years. So it was a real treat for me to be able to follow along with the German.

Jesus has booming voice of Jerzy Kozlowski
Jesus has booming voice of Jerzy Kozlowski

It has finished in Melbourne, but you have one more chance to hear this wonderful at Clunes, outside of Ballarat. It is worth a road trip to visit a wonderfully historic town that was the middle of the Gold Rush. Join the 100 other people at St John's Cathedral.

It has had rave reviews around Australia including;

"This is a choir that Australia can be proud of" - Stage Whispers 25 April 2018.

"Impeccable pitch and articulation of the text are a feature of the ACC's performances, and throughout the tempered contrasts of dynamics in response to the text was scholarly and splendid" Classic Melbourne, 12 April 2018

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Why? You love Choir and Orchestra blended in perfect harmony
When: 5 May 2019
Website: www.auschoir
Where: Clunes, Victoria St Pauls
Cost: 30 to 35
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