Pacific Chorale to Present St. John Passion

Pacific Chorale to Present St. John Passion

Pacific Chorale, the resident choir of Segerstrom Center for the Arts, will be presenting an intimate presentation of Bach's St. John Passion on Saturday evening, March 10, at 8:00 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, to celebrate the Lenten season (which is from February 14 to March 31, 2018).

The setting of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, as related in The Gospel of John, is one of the composer's most powerful and dramatic works.

The concert, sponsored in part by Phillip N. and Mary A. Lyons, will feature Pacific Chorale's 40-voice professional chamber choir and period instrument ensemble Musica Angelica, echoing the performing forces of Bach's day.

The Passio secundum Joannem or St John Passion - BWV 245 - is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was written during Bach's first year as director of church music in Leipzig and was first performed at Good Friday Vespers at the St. Nicholas Church on April 7, 1724.

The structure of the work falls in two halves, intended to flank a sermon. The anonymous libretto draws on existing works (notably Brockes') and is compiled from recitatives and choruses narrating the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John. Bach followed chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel of John in the Luther Bible, and the tenor Evangelist follows exactly the words of that bible.

In the work, ariosos and arias reflect on the action, and the choir uses hymn tunes and texts that were familiar to a congregation of Bach's contemporaries.

Pacific Chorale (PC) has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1968. Under the artistic leadership of Robert Istad, the organization produces a series of concerts each year at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, where it serves as the sole resident choir. The mission of Pacific Chorale is to inspire our community through artistry and innovation in choral music performances and education programs.

Pacific Chorale is recognized for exceptional artistic expression, preserving and performing classical choral music as well as presenting stimulating American-focused programming. In addition to its own substantial performance season and long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale is sought regularly to perform with the nation's leading symphonies, having performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.

Pacific Chorale has toured extensively to over 19 countries - in Europe, South America and Asia - and has collaborated with the London Symphony, the Munich Symphony, L'Orchestre Lamoureux and L'Orchestre de St-Louis-en-l'Île of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.

Pacific Chorale has received numerous awards from Chorus America, the service organization for North American choral groups, including the prestigious "Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence," the first national "Educational Outreach Award," the 2005 ASCAP Chorus America Alice Parker Award for adventurous programming, and the 2015 "Education and Community Engagement Award."

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