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Passio! Scarlatti’s St John Passion in a brand new semi-staged version

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ZuiderstrandtheaterScheveningen Haven, Kranenburgweg 211, The Hague, South Holland, 2583 ER, Pays-Bas
Le vendredi 27 mars 2020 at 20:15

Something new for a change. Easter is ‘passion-time’, but this year that doesn’t mean Bach. B’Rock Orchestra and Choir – yes, that’s right, for this project we are launching a brand new extension of B’Rock – will be putting Scarlatti’s St John Passion on their music stands. This Neapolitan baroque composer is the spiritual father of modern opera. His St John Passion confirms this reputation: emotions, plaintive dissonants and a perfect synthesis of words and music make this work exceptionally expressive and dramatic. The counter-tenor takes the role of the Evangelist, with expressive and declamatory vocal melodies and recitatives based on the rhythm of the language. The deliberate bass sings the part of Christ. When the latter is singing, the strings underpin him with long extended notes in touching ariosos. The chorus gives voice to the thoughts and feelings of the people. B’Rock complements this short and potent passion with music for Easter week by Scarlatti himself and also by Gesualdo, as well as the Miserere by Tommaso Baj and also a string quartet by the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen that was inspired by Allegri’s Miserere. Old and new come together in driving rhythms and moving melancholy, and are surprisingly harmonious.

Passio! includes numerous firsts: to underline the opera element of Scarlatti’s oratorio, we are presenting his St John Passion in a brand new semi-staged version. And Andreas Küppers, full-time harpsichordist at B’Rock, will be conducting the orchestra for the first time.

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