St John Passion performed from memory

Brighton Festival Chorus
Brighton Festival Chorus

Brighton Festival Chorus offer a semi-staged performance of Bach’s St John Passion on Good Friday, April 3, at 3pm at Brighton Dome.

They will be performing the work from memory, and it adds to the occasion that this will be their 500th performance since BFC was founded in 1968.

Music director James Morgan said: “This is Bach’s most dramatic piece of music; it’s very emotional music for Bach, and people don’t associate Bach necessarily with emotion straight away. It’s in the best tradition of a passion play, but with some of the best music ever written to accompany it.”

BFC spokesman Julian Wilkinson continues: “This special in-the-round Proms-style performance of J S Bach’s glorious St John Passion is a return of the highly acclaimed, semi-staged version last performed in 2008 and 2009 and takes the singers in and amongst the audience.

“First performed in Leipzig on Good Friday 1724, Bach’s powerfully-meditative interpretation of the Gospel of St John is a work of startling immediacy yet subtle nuance, recreating the psychological and emotional conflict of Christ’s final days before his public trial and crucifixion.

Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) was founded in 1968 and its debut performance was Belshazzar’s Feast, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer, William Walton.

“Ever since, it has established and maintained a reputation as an amateur choir working with top professional orchestras and artists, delivering consistently high quality performances,” Julian added.

“BFC is also known for its versatility as it performs not only the standard choral repertoire but also new works and commissions, and collaborations with popular music artists. BFC performs in the Brighton Festival every year and at major concert venues in London, the rest of Britain and in Europe.”