St. John Passion

Sundays, July 17 & 24, 3:00 PM

Orchestra, Chorale, and Soloists conducted by Andrew Megill

J.S. Bach, St. John Passion, BWV 245

Clara Rottsolk, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor (Evangelist); Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

 

Bach’s Passions are deeply embedded in the Carmel Bach Festival tradition, and the Festival is proud to continue the tradition by presenting St. John Passion in 2022.

The St. John Passion is more dramatic and expressive than the St. Matthew Passion. Because it is shorter, the narrative of the St. John Passion is relentless, visceral, and intense. In fact, this work might be the closest thing to an opera Bach composed.

The oratorio Passion—comprised of Biblical texts enhanced by lyrical arias and chorales—was a relatively new form when Bach created the St. John Passion in 1724. The Passion begins with one of Bach’s finest choruses, “Herr unser Herrscher.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross has said regarding this chorus: “Whatever images come to mind, the craft that went into the making of the scene—the melodic inspiration, the contrapuntal rigor, the immaculate demonstration of the rules, the insolent breaking of them—is as astounding now as it must have been on that day in 1724 (when St. John Passion premiered). One notable fact about the St. John Passion…is that we have no eyewitness account of the première. If the good people of Leipzig understood that they were in the presence of the most stupendous talent in musical history, they gave no sign.”

These performances will utilize period instruments at Baroque pitch, offering Carmel audiences a similar experience as the congregants in 1724 at St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, and will be directed by Associate Conductor Andrew Megill.

“The themes the St. John Passion explores go beyond the walls of any specific church or denomination,” said Andrew Megill. Light versus darkness, truth versus falsehood, how we are constrained by and transcend the bonds of time, and the good and evil that lie within the human heart.”

 

THOMAS COOLEY tenor

Minnesota-born tenor Thomas Cooley has established a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic—and beyond—as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity. Possessing a lyric tenor voice of great flexibility, dynamic range, and precision

Cooley studied at DePauw University, the University of Minnesota and the Richard Strauss Conservatory. He is an Artist in Residence with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. This season marks Thomas’ 11th in Carmel. Thomas will perform the role of the Evangelist in the St. John Passion.

 

MEG BRAGLE mezzo-soprano

Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle returns for her fourth Carmel Bach Festival season as a soloist. She was a Virginia Best Adams fellow in 1999. Widely praised for her musical intelligence and “expressive virtuosity,” Meg hasearned an international reputation as one of today’s most gifted and versatile mezzo-sopranos. She is the recipient of awards and recognition from Symphony Magazine, the American Bach Society, and the Bethlehem Bach Festival. A frequent featured soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, she has made four recordings with the group.

 

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Tags:
Andrew Megill

Presenter

Andrew Megill

Date

Jul 17 2022

Time

3:00 pm

Starting at

$38.00

Soloists

  • Clara Rottsolk
    Clara Rottsolk
    Soprano soloist

    A native of Seattle, soprano Clara Rottsolk earned her music degrees at Rice University and Westminster Choir College, and was recognized for musical excellence by the Metropolitan Opera National Council (Northwest Region). She is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr College. In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan, and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice singing with orchestras and chamber ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, the American Classical Orchestra, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Bach Collegium San Diego, Atlanta Baroque, Trinity Wall Street, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Folger Consort, and ARTEK among others.

  • Dashon Burton
    Dashon Burton
    Bass-baritone Soloist

    Dashon Burton returns to the Carmel Bach Festival for a fifth season as bass-baritone soloist. The Bronx, New York native was previously a member of the Chorale. Praised for his “nobility and rich tone,” Burton has established a world-wide career in opera, recital, and in many works with orchestra. He is a regular guest with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. Dashon has won prizes from the ARD International Music Competition and the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and from the Oratorio Society of New York and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music.

    Dashon Burton appears by arrangement with Colbert Artists Management, Inc., 307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2006, New York NY 10001.
    Forays into more varied repertoire have included his performances of Michael Tippet’s A Child of our Time at Harvard, Barber’s Dover Beach, and Hans Eisler’s Ernste Gesaenge with A Far Cry chamber orchestra in Boston, Copland’s Old American Songs with the Kansas City Symphony, Schubert’s Die Winterreise with string quartet, and performances and recording of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard with the vocal group Conspirare. Last season, he premiered Paul Moravec’s new oratorio, Sanctuary Road, at Carnegie Hall and performed David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

    Dashon’s 2018/19 season begins with his debut at the Salzburg Festival in Salomé. He sings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and with the Cincinnati Symphony, Dvoark’s Stabat Mater with the Houston Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass et al. with Philharmonia Baroque, the C minor Mass with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Requiem with the Bethlehem Bach Festival and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He sings also Haydn’s Creation and the role of Zebul in Handel’s Jeptha, the Verdi Requiem, Moussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, and returns to the Cleveland Orchestra for a subscription week of Schubert’s Mass in E flat Major in May. December finds him performing with the contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, of which Dashon is an original member, at Paris’Théatre de la Ville in Peter Sellars’ production of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, un ritual de mort.

    Burton returns to Trinity Wall St. for a Baroque recital this season. For his other recitals in Boston and San Francisco, the program is based on his recording Songs of Struggle and Redemption: We Shall Overcome, singled out by the New York Times as “profoundly moving…a beautiful and lovable disc” in its May 2016 Classical Play list.

    Burton’s opera engagements include singing Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Dijon and Paris, and the role of Jupiter in Rameau’s Castor and Pollux with Christoph Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques. He has toured Europe in the St. John Passion with Christoph Prégardien’s Le Concert Lorraine, and in Italy with Maasaki Suzuki and the Yale Schola Cantorum in the St. Matthew Passion, a work he also sang on tour in the Netherlands with the NNSO.

    Dashon has won prizes from the ARD international Music Competition and the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and from the Oratorio Society of New York and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Competition for Young American Singers. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree from Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music.

  • Meg Bragle
    Meg Bragle
    Mezzo-soprano Soloist

    Widely praised for her musical intelligence, American mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle is quickly earning an international reputation as one of today’s most gifted and versatile mezzo-sopranos.

    Frequently a featured soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, she made her BBC Proms debut with them singing Bach’s Easter and Ascension Oratorios, has performed with them at the Leipzig Bachfest and the Prague Spring, Luzerne, Aldeburgh and Brighton festivals, and has made four recordings with the group including the recently released Bach B Minor Mass.

    Meg has sung in North America and Europe with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Les Violons du Roy, Apollo’s Fire, and the Dunedin Consort. She has also appeared with many symphony orchestras in the US and Canada including the Houston, Indianapolis, Pacific, and Colorado Symphonies; the National Arts Center Orchestra, and a series of concerts with the Calgary Philharmonic including Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

    Highlights of her 2016/17 season include appearances with Milwaukee Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Dunedin Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Early Music Vancouver. Meg also performs this season at the Winter Park, Carmel Bach, and London Baroque Festivals, with Voices of Music, and Catacoustic Consort. Other recent highlights include Bruno Moretti’s Vespro with New York City Ballet, tours of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio with the Netherlands Bach Society and Bach’s Lutheran Masses with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

    Her recent opera roles include Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Dido and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dardano in Handel’s Amadigi, Amastre in Handel’s Serse, Speranza in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Ippolita in Cavalli’s Elena, and Elpina in Vivaldi’s La Fida Ninfa.

    In addition to those with the English Baroque Soloists, she has made several recordings with Apollo’s Fire: Mozart’s Requiem (Koch), Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Avie), and Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (Avie), and L’Orfeo (Eclectra). Other recordings include Cozzolani’s Vespro della Beata Vergine and Messa Paschale with Magnificat (Musica Omnia), Music of Medieval Love with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music (Ex Cathedra), Toby Twining’s Chrysalid Requiem (Cantaloupe), Anthony Newman’s Requiem (Khaeon World Music) and Copland’s In the Beginning with the late John Scott and the Men and Boy Choir of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue and the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte on their own labels.

  • Thomas Cooley
    Thomas Cooley
    Tenor Soloist

    Minnesota-born tenor Thomas Cooley has established a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic — and beyond — as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity.

    Possessing a lyric tenor voice of great flexibility, dynamic range, and precision, he has appeared with such conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Osmo Vänskä, Eji Oue, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, David Robertson, Carlo Rizzi, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honneck, Michael Schønwandt, Gil Shohat, and Kryzstof Penderecki. His repertoire on the concert stage comprises works such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Berlioz’s Requiem, Nuits d’été and L’enfance du Christ, Haydn’s Seasons, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus, Honneger’s King David, Mozart’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Bernstein’s Candide, and Penderecki’s Credo. He is frequently invited to perform in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a role that has taken him to Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Spain, and throughout the United States. In the Baroque repertoire he is a well-known interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel, most especially in the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions and in the great oratorios of Handel.

    Recent and upcoming appearances of note include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony; Britten’s War Requiem with the Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Oregon Symphonies; Handel’s Messiah with the Oregon, Houston, and Charlotte Symphonies as well as the Calgary Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra; “ Peter Quint” in Britten’s Turn of the Screw with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Bob Boles in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony in Carnegie Hall; the title role in Handel’s Samson with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall (Nicholas McGegan conducting); the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation Oratorio with Atlanta Symphony; “Tristan” in Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé with Bergen National Opera; “Crown Prince” in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Cincinnati Opera; “Acis” in a new production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Seattle Symphony and St. John Passion with Pacific Musicworks and the Pittsburgh Symphony; and performances at the Oregon and Carmel Bach Festivals.

    As Artist in Residence with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Cooley performs Monteverdi’s Vespers, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, and a program of Bach Cantatas this season.

Sunset Center Theater

Location

Sunset Center Theater
San Carlos St between 8th and 10th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

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