Bach’s St. John Passion
A Dramatic Presentation in English
Apollo’s Fire – The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra under founding music director Jeannette Sorrell has been praised internationally as “the U.S.A.’s hottest band” (Classical Music Magazine, UK) and credited with “forging a vibrant, life-affirming approach to early music” (BBC Music Magazine). Apollo’s Fire has performed to sold-out halls and standing ovations in Madrid’s Royal Theatre, London’s Wigmore Hall, and concert halls from Los Angeles to Lisbon, and San Francisco to Boston. The ensemble has released 18 commercial CD’s, of which four recent titles have been bestsellers on the classical Billboard chart.
Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire are known for their distinctive and dramatic approach to the Bach Passions. Sorrell believes in performing the Passions in the language of the listeners, in order to achieve the immediacy of communication that Bach intended when he composed these works in the common tongue of his congregation (German). Lutheran philosophy also dictated that all sacred texts and music should be in the language of the people.
With the St. John Passion, Apollo’s Fire has moved audiences in Cleveland, on tour, and across the country by radio. Sorrell and her stellar company of dramatic soloists perform the work as a sweeping saga, “revelatory… with impassioned singing and playing bringing Bach’s score to life with contemporary immediacy” (Opera News).
Host and commentary: Robert Conrad
Ian Honeyman, Evangelist
Jeffrey Strauss, Jesus
Michael McMurray, Pilate
Jolle Greenleaf & Anne Grimm, sopranos
Kirsten Sollek, mezzo-soprano
Richard Edgar-Wilson & Marc Molomot, tenors
Tom Meglioranza, baritone
Apollo’s Singers & Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra
Jeannette Sorrell, conductor