A Member of Firebird Arts Alliance


February 2017  --  Charlotte, NC  --  On Saturday, April 1st 2017,  Director David Tang will lead a rare, semi-staged performance of J.S. Bach’s majestic St. John Passion in the Sharon Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. The St. John Passion is one of the most dramatic and spiritually profound portrayals of Christ’s last hours and an undeniable cornerstone of western art. Performers include Tang’s semi-professional chorus - VOX, the Wingate University Chamber Singers, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, and world-class vocal soloists.

“What distinguishes the St. John Passion from other choral works is Bach’s extraordinary musical setting of the text’s violent and dramatic narrative. In both, humanity is portrayed at its worst – full of weakness and malice, while Christ is presented as the omnipotent and all-righteous God who willingly submits to a horrible death with love and grace,” says Tang. “Bach captures this enormous spiritual divide between God and man by contrasting some of his most savage and groundbreaking music with some of his most ardent and sublime. The St. John Passion is one of the greatest explorations of human iniquity, love and forgiveness."

The St. John Passion is normally performed in concert, but this unique performance will semi-stage the action and include dance. “In our ongoing efforts to foster cutting-edge artistic collaboration, we are working with baroque stage director and choreographer Paige Whitley-Bauguess as well as several dancers to perform the passion as it has never been seen in Charlotte. The task is difficult because some of the music is far more complex than music you might find in an opera, for example. We also face the relatively uncharted challenge of staging music that was never intended as musical theater. Our hope is to enhance, not detract from the work’s profound spiritual message of love and redemption.”

Saturday April 1, 2017 7:30pm
Sharon Presbyterian Church
$20-general / $10-students & seniors


David Tang, Director, Firebird Arts Alliance
David.J.Tang@mac.com  |  (c) 704-232-0605

First semi-staged performance of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion in Charlotte