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Trunch Concerts - Music in a historic Norfolk Church
Concert in March 2012

SUNDAY 25th MARCH at  7.00 pm

Unfortunately this concert has been cancelled

FESTIVAL BAROQUE CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA
Christopher Roache (Evangelist)
Dirk Snellings (Jesus)
Adam Summerhayes (Leader)
Director: Matthew Gouldstone
ST JOHN PASSION
Johann Sebastian Bach

Admission by programme at the door: £10
Trunch concerts

Bach's St. John PassionBach

Bach's St. John Passion follows the inexorable events of the final days of Jesus' life. It is the musical representation of betrayal, arrest, trial, execution, burial and a study in contradiction. The raw emotion and bellicose expression of the Passion story keep company with some of the most sublime music ever composed. It is an unforgettable musical experience.

Bach composed the St John Passion in 1724-5 to make his mark when appointed musical director at St Thomas 's Church in Leipzig . He revised and added to it over the following decade. The biblical narrative is sung by a tenor soloist ('Evangelist') and the words of Jesus by a solo bass.
The choir is closely involved in the drama, singing the words of the crowd crying for Jesus's death. It also reflects on the key moments in the story by using words and melodies ('chorales') well-known to Lutheran congregations at the time and adopted by churches across the world subsequently.
Unlike the frequent 'choral society' renditions, this performance will be given by a small group of highly polished performers, giving extra clarity and lucidity to the music. All of the solo movements will be sung by leading vocalists from London.

The role of Jesus will be performed by Dirk Snellings, one of the world's leading renaissance and baroque vocal interpreters. He will be traveling from Belgium especially for this performance and will be joined by the latest new vocal sensation, Christopher Roache as the evangelist. The specially-formed Festival Baroque Orchestra includes accomplished specialists in Baroque performance from the UK , Latvia , Australia and Spain . It is led by the virtuoso baroque violinist Adam Summerhayes, who has established an enviable reputation for his exciting, new approach to the performance of baroque music.

We are indebted to Louisa Hunter-Bradley, a rising star in the world of Early Music practice who sang so beautifully in St Botolph’s last season, for organising this superb opportunity to hear these young musicians who are rapidly establishing an enviable international reputation for their performances of Baroque and Renaissance music.

Biographies of the principle performers:


Christopher Roache (Evangelist) completed his Bachelor of Music with Honours in 2009 at the University Of Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music . Christopher sang with many of the main consort groups in Australia , including the Consort of Melbourne, Buxtehude Consort, and the Australian Chamber Choir. He moved to the UK in February 2011 to continue and develop his career as a consort singer and soloist, and has been working as a member of Wells Cathedral Choir since September 2011. Christopher specialises in early music, in particular Baroque and Renaissance consort repertoire, singing both as a tenor and as a counter tenor.

Dirk Snellings (Jesus) studied music and anthroplogy in Leuven and went on to study singing with Lucienne Van Deyck. A period of intense study at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp led to the award of the First Prize summa cum laude, and to the extension of his repertoire into contemporary compositions. As the artistic director of the Capilla Flamenca, and together with Dr Eugeen Schreurs (Alamire Foundation University of Leuven ), he specialises in the music of the Flemish polyphonists, with a particular interest in Burgundian composers. In his attempts at structurally underpinning these 'innovating' insights into vocal performing practice and at making them known to the public, he is supported by Herman Baeten, the inspirer of Musica, the Flemish service centre for Music in Peer. As a soloist Dirk Snellings has enjoyed a busy career in Belgium with frequent performances abroad in Japan, the United States, Poland, Hungary, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and elsewhere, with particular emphasis on baroque compositions and the music of J.S. Bach. Numerous recordings for radio and television, as well as LP and CD recordings, bear witness to this. Dirk Snellings also lectures as a singer and musicologist at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven and at the Royal Flemish Conservatory of Music in Antwerp, in addition to his master courses, passing on his experience to a new generation of musicians.

Adam Summerhayes (leader) is a violinist whose expertise extends from period instrument Baroque performance to a wide variety of folk styles - from Bluegrass to Copanitza and the folk end of this spectrum informs his work as a composer. His compositions have been broadcast on both Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 and feature on four discs recorded by ZUM - the unique and highly successful Gypsy Tango band of which his compositions and distinctive brand of folk fiddling are a integral part. He has given concerto and recital performances in Holland , France , Spain , Germany , Poland , the Czech Republic , Slovenia , Russia and Croatia as well as throughout the UK - all to appreciable critical acclaim. His discography includes eight discs with his piano trio and in duo with his wife Catherine Summerhayes. Their world premiere performance and recordings of early works by Copland received rave reviews in the national press and music magazines - "to die for" wrote The Strad. Their recording of works by Alan Bush fared equally well in the press, featuring as critic's choice in Gramophone magazine. He has given a great many premiere performances of works for violin and piano - many of which were written specially for him - and his recordings include three discs of contemporary music.