In two performances of its spring concert, the Burlington Choral Society presents music for Lent and Easter that moves from tragic to festive. On Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. at College Street Congregational Church in Burlington and on Sunday, April 14, at 4:00 p.m. at The Unitarian Church of Montpelier, the BCS features English composer Bob Chilcott’s new setting of the St. John Passion. It spans an enormous expressive range in telling the story of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion, according to St. John’s gospel. This will be its first Vermont performance.
Chilcott, a former member of the King’s Singers, wrote the Passion for Wells Cathedral in England. The chorus plays the crowd with its raucous outbursts in the Passion narrative, but its main role is singing the simple, melodic meditations and lyrical hymns that Chilcott weaves into the story. The story continues with Renaissance composer John Taverner’s ethereal Dum Transisset Sabbatum, which describes sunrise on the Sunday after the Crucifixion. The concert ends with Pietro Mascagni’s exultant Easter hymn from his opera Cavalleria Rusticana.
Artistic director Richard Riley leads the chorus and guest artists tenor Adam Hall (as John the Evangelist), bassbaritone Matt Sullivan (Jesus), baritone David Neiweem (Pontius Pilate) and soprano Chayah Lichtig. Jenny Bowerperforms on the organ, with Elizabeth Reid, viola; Samuel Quiggins, cello; Jim Duncan and Jason Whitcomb, trumpet; Joy Worland, horn; Lori Salimando-Porter, trombone; and William Keck, tuba.
Riley says, “We’re calling this concert Sunset, Sunrise because we’ll take our audience on a dramatic musical passage from darkness to light.”
Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Box Office, http://www.flynntix.org and (802) 86-FLYNN. Prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students.