Turbulent, intense, and tender, a Passion for our times. 

When first performed, Bach’s St John Passion shocked the Church fathers in Leipzig with its intensity and fervour. It is just that intensity that makes it so relevant in today’s highly charged and turbulent times.

Our special performances of Bach’s masterpiece include projections of images, curated by director Ivars Taurins, from the illuminated Saint John’s Bible, a contemporary work of art that unites ancient Benedictine traditions with the vision of today. This striking visual element will explore a universal spiritual message while offering a deeper understanding of the context around St John Passion.   

Harrowing, passionate, and tender by turn, the St John Passion reflects our world as well as Bach’s. It refuses to shy away from the darkness inherent in the tale, which makes the final transformation of pain and grief into faith and love all the more powerful. One of the masterpieces of Western art. 

Box Office
Tafelmusik Box Office
1 (833) 964–6337 | Email
Running Time
About 150 minutes
Style of Music
Baroque, Choral

Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre

March 23, 2023 7:30 pm
March 24, 2023 7:30 pm
March 25, 2023 3:30 pm

Myriam Leblanc

Soprano

A versatile artist, the young Canadian soprano Myriam Leblanc is recognized for her warm, flexible voice and pure timbre —“A voice of rare beauty” (La Presse). She demonstrates both great technical mastery and exquisite musical expression.

Formerly a member of the Atelier lyrique of Montreal Opera, Myriam Leblanc has appeared as guest soloist with Orchestres symphoniques de Montréal, Trois-Rivieres  and  Québec, Saskatoon Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra, and Orchestre Métropolitain. Her recent projects and collaboration as a soloist include Mozart Requiem with Les Violons du Roy, an annual tour of Handel’s Messiah with Festival Classica, a recital of Medtner’s music with Charles-Richard Hamelin, and several concerts with Early Music Vancouver, La Nef, and Ensemble Mirabilia.

Krisztina Szabó

Mezzo-soprano

Hungarian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó is highly sought after in both North America and Europe as an artist of supreme musicianship and stagecraft. She is known for her interpretation of baroque music as well as her promotion and performance of contemporary Canadian works.

Krisztina has performed with San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Wexford Festival Opera, Royal Opera, and Netherlands Opera. She sang in the première of George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence, the recording of which received a Grammy nomination for Best Opera Recording.

James Gilchrist

Evangelist and tenor soloist

British tenor James Gilchrist’s extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform in major concert halls throughout the world. Recent highlights have included singing the role of Rev. Adams in Britten’s Peter Grimes in Deborah Warner’s award-winning production at the Teatro Real, Madrid, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as with Bergen Philharmonic in performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Grieghallen, and Den Norske Opera. Further highlights include Haydn’s Creation for a staged production with Garsington Opera and Ballet Rambert, and a return to King’s College, Cambridge to perform St Matthew Passion as part of Stephen Cleobury’s final Easter week as Director of Music.

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the St John and St Matthew Passions feature prominently in his schedule, and he is celebrated as perhaps the finest Evangelist of his generation. As one review noted, “he hasn’t become a one-man Evangelist industry by chance.” 

William Sharp

Jesus and baritone soloist

Grammy-nominated baritone William Sharp returns to the Washington National Cathedral this season for concerts of song repertoire with PostClassical Ensemble. He also returns to the Bethlehem Bach Festival as soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and cantatas. Performance highlights include previous appearances with Tafelmusik, Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St John Passion at the Washington National Cathedral, Graupner’s Antiochus und Stratonice at the Boston Early Music Festival, Bach cantatas with the Dryden Ensemble, a cabaret concert at Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Kurt Weill Festival, Adams’ The Nixon Tapes with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Del Tredici’s Gay Life with San Francisco Symphony, Copland’s Old American Songs with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Wheeler’s The Palace at Four A.M. with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

Jonathon Adams

Petrus, Pilatus, and baritone soloist

Born in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta), Jonathon Adams is a Cree-Métis baritone. They have appeared as a soloist with Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Vox Luminis, Servir Antico, and B’Rock Orchestra at Opera-Ballet Flanders. In 2021 Jonathon was named the first ever artist-in-residence at Early Music Vancouver. They are also featured in the film MESSIAH/COMPLEX created by Against the Grain Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Future solo engagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony under Masaaki Suzuki, Tafelmusik, Les Délices, il Gardellino, TENET Vocal Artists, Washington Bach Consort, the Toronto and Vancouver Bach Festivals, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. 

Jonathon attended The Royal Academy of Music and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and studied with Nancy Argenta, Emma Kirkby, and Edith Wiens. In addition to performing, Jonathon offers an annual workshop for singers at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance in e’se’katik (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia). 

Credits

Directed by Ivars Taurins
Myriam Leblanc soprano
Krisztina Szabó mezzo-soprano
James Gilchrist Evangelist and tenor soloist
William Sharp Jesus and baritone soloist
Jonathon Adams Petrus, Pilatus, and baritone soloist
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

Program

Bach St John Passion 

Season Presenting Sponsor