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J.S. Bach’s legendary St John Passion was first performed on Good Friday, April 7, 1724. Three hundred years on, it has gained status as a seasonal staple for the week leading up to Easter, regularly receiving hundreds of performances a year across the globe.

To mark the 300th anniversary of this musical rendering of the dramatic story of Jesus’ trial, betrayal, crucifixion, and death on the cross, over seventy musicians and singers are coming together on Palm Sunday, March 24th to share this work with Victoria music lovers.

The word “Passion,” in this instance, refers to the story of Christ’s death, often read in church services on Good Friday. It is from the same root that we get words such as “suffer,” “endure,” and “patience.” Though contemporary sources list J.S. Bach as having composed five Passions, only two survive: The St Matthew Passion and the St John Passion. Bach was a devout Christian and these pieces would have originally been heard within church services by a congregation of worshippers. Though this particular performance falls at the beginning of Holy Week, it is squarely pitched as a concert experience – an opportunity to hear one of the season’s greatest works performed by the city’s finest musicians.

Soloists include tenor, Benjamin Butterfield (Evangelist) and Suzie LeBlanc (soprano), who also heads up Early Music Vancouver, one of the four presenting partners. David Stratkauskas, Director of Music at the Church of St John the Divine will conduct the ensemble.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door, subject to available spaces.