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Artes Vocales

May 29, 2016

pasadena+methodist+church+gothic+style+architectureArtes Vocales comes to the beautiful and acoustically superior sanctuary at First United Methodist Church, performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on June 4.

This story of Jesus’ suffering and death as told in the Gospel of St. Matthew had its premier in Leipzig on Good Friday in 1727.

The Kapellmeister’s Magnum Opus in terms of length, musical forces and profundity of vision… requires two choruses, each with its own small orchestra, organ continuo, and numerous solo parts. (Pasadena Conservatory of Music)

Tom Huizenga, writing for NPR, states:

Bach’s Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas’s Church in Leipzig, Germany. Standing as one of the pillars of Western sacred music, it is at once monumental and intimate, deeply sorrowful and powerful. (“A Visitor’s Guide to Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’,” NPR.org, April 17, 2014)

 

Johann Sebastian Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Johann Sebastian Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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.

AVoLA is 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. (Pasadena Conservatory of Music)

Part of Artes Vocales’ mission is “to encourage young artists who are launching solo careers.” Fourteen members of AVoLA have solo parts: as characters in the Passion story, as well as observers reflecting the unfolding story.

 

Conductor Dr. Steven Kronauer

Conductor Dr. Steven Kronauer

 

This production concludes the second concert season of AVoLA and will include projected English supertitles.

 

AVoLA

AVoLA

 

Huizenga continues:

English tenor Ian Bostridge is so taken with Bach’s music that he has made the role of the Evangelist a staple of his repertoire.

“I think the St. Matthew Passion is one of the greatest pieces of music in the Western repertory,” Bostridge says. “And to start one’s journey toward understanding that piece is a very important point in anybody’s life.”

 

That’s quite a recommendation.

 

Artes Vocales of Los Angeles: St. Matthew Passion Concert
Saturday, June 4th at 2 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Tickets: $25; purchase at Brown Paper Tickets
For more info, visit PasadenaConservatory.org/events
Also find Artes Vocales on Facebook

 

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena

 

Rehearsing for first concert of the season at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral, Los Angeles; photo found at AVoLA on Facebook

Rehearsing for a concert in March 2015 at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Los Angeles; photo found at AVoLA on Facebook

 

AVoLA at the Globe Theater on Broadway, Los Angeles, March 2015; photo found at AVoLA on Facebook

AVoLA at the Globe Theater on Broadway, Los Angeles, March 2015; photo found at AVoLA on Facebook

 

 




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