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St John Passion


Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:00pm–10:00pm

Where: St Mary's Pro Cathedral, 373 Manchester St, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $20.00
  • Concession: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: Don Whelan

J.S. Bach’s St John Passion will be performed at 8 pm on Good Friday, March 30, 2018, in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street.

Written for Good Friday in 1723, the Passion is a compact and intensely dramatic setting of St John’s description of Christ’s last hours.

Soloists will be Sarah-Jane Rennie. Louisa Pilkington, Ken Joblin and Chris Whelan, with Ben Madden as the Evangelist, and Sam Madden as tenor soloist. Both brothers, based in Dunedin, are graduates of the Otago University classical voice programme.

The orchestra will be led by Natalia Lomeiko, Continuo will be provided by Ellen Doyle, cello, with Veronica van der Knaap on harpsichord, and the performance will be directed by Don Whelan. On Easter Sunday morning, the 10:30 am. Solemn Mass will include Handel’s Worthy Is The Lamb & Amen chorus, the Byrd motet Haec Dies, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

This year’s Cathedral Music Festival will centre on the diocesan feast day of St John the Baptist, Sunday June 24. A 3 pm concert will present a NZ premiere of Mozart’s beautiful Vespers of the Blessed Sacrament, together with his “Paris” Symphony 31, first heard at a festival concert for Corpus Christi - the patronal feast of our cathedral.

Haydn’s Theresienmesse will be heard on Sunday, 30 September, and the annual performance of Messiah will be 2 pm, Sunday 9 December.

The weekly Wednesday at One Pro-Cathedral concert series continues to attract a supportive audience, and presents a variety of soloists, ensembles and orchestras. Besides experienced local professional players, opportunities are provided for advanced performers from Canterbury University’s School of Music, and some local secondary schools.

The cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7:30pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at the CBS Music Centre. Sight reading ability is expected.

A number of vacancies exist for choral leaders within the group, who enjoy unique opportunities to perform solo roles in significant Mass and motet settings with the orchestra and choir. Leadership awards, and other scholarships, worth up to $3000 per year, are available to suitable applicants.

Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone - 358-5873.

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