The St. John: A Global Passion

Saturday, July 13 at 7:30PM, Sunset Center Theater

Grete Pedersen, conductor; Clara Rottsolk, soprano; Abigail Nims, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Staples, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone; Festival Orchestra; Festival Chorale; VBA

The St. John Passion was performed for the first time on Good Friday in 1724 in the Nicolaikirche in Leipzig. To mark its 300th anniversary, the St. John Passion opens the 2024 festival season, lending great meaning to the season’s theme, “Passions,” and creating connections to the week’s concerts and recitals.  

The definition of ‘passion’ has many forms, from compelling and powerful emotions for someone or something, to the object of fondness or desire, and even violent anger. In its archaic form, it simply means “suffering.” Theologically, ‘passion’ refers to the sufferings of Christ on the cross, his suffering subsequent to the Last Supper, or the narrative of Christ’s suffering as recorded in the Gospels.

The St. John Passion explores global themes and suffering as well as humanity’s moral responsibility. J.S. Bach set the work in German, the local language, but we are presenting the St. John in several languages, including English, Spanish, Norwegian, Hebrew, Arabic, and German. The arias and choruses provide commentary and poetic contemplation on the oratorio Passion, which is comprised of biblical texts. Using multiple languages, we create the idea of a global, universal audience — understanding that suffering is expressed in every language — and humanity’s interconnectedness the world over.


Program

St. John Passion, BWV 245 (114 minutes) | JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) 

PART I

INTERMISSION

PART II

 

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Director

Grete Pedersen
Grete Pedersen

Date

Jul 13 2024

Time

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Featuring

  • 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.

  • Andrew Staples
    Andrew Staples
    Tenor Soloist
  • Abigail Nims
    Abigail Nims
    Mezzo-soprano Soloist

Location

Sunset Center Theater
Sunset Center Theater
San Carlos St between 8th and 10th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921
Website
https://www.sunsetcenter.org/

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