The Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s Artes Vocales of Los Angeles (AVoLA) will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at 2 pm on Saturday, June 4, 2016, in the beautiful wood-paneled and acoustically excellent sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.
Bach’s magnificent setting of the story of Jesus’ suffering and death as told in the Gospel of St. Matthew was first performed in Leipzig on Good Friday, 1727, and is unquestionably the Kapellmeister’s Magnum Opus in terms of length, musical forces and profundity of vision. The beautiful and eloquent work requires two choruses, each with its own small orchestra, an additional children’s chorus, organ continuo, and numerous solo parts. Both chorus and soloists have the dual roles of participant in the drama and responding commentator.
Guest performers include tenor Kyle Stegall, in the principal role of the Evangelist, and baritone Andrew Konopak, who plays Jesus. The supporting orchestra comprises an all-star roster of period performance specialists from around the Southland. Fourteen members of AVoLA have solo parts, either as characters in the Passion story or observers reflecting on the unfolding tragedy. The large number of solos supports one of AVoLA’s missions, which is to encourage young artists who are launching solo careers. The concert will include projected English supertitles.
This production concludes the second concert season of AVoLA, a 70-voice auditioned community chorus conducted by Dr. Steven Kronauer under the auspices of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Dr. Kronauer is the group’s founding artistic director, Evan Roberts, the assistant director, and Twyla Meyer, the accompanist.