Regarded as one of the quintessential masterpieces of classical sacred music, Bach’s revered account of Christ’s Passion from the Gospel of Matthew is detailed through sublimely beautiful music that is eloquent and profoundly moving, both in its humanity and spirituality. While a highlight of concert seasons and festivals around the world for more than 150 years, Bach’s final and most dramatic Passion was never intended to be staged.
Renowned for his highly original takes on operatic works, Peter Sellars ritualizes this magnificent masterpiece to create a communal grieving process while illuminating Bach’s unmatched gift for presenting both deep hardship and the possibility of transcendence. This radically inclusive approach eliminates the separation between artist and audience — there are no spectators, only observers and participants —with musicians and singers moving amongst each other. Hailed as “the single most important thing we ever did here” by Simon Rattle when the production premiered at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2010, Rattle again leads the Berliner Philharmoniker, a cast of superb singers including Mark Padmore and Christian Gerhaher, and extensive choral forces for the U.S. premiere of this epic production.
Simon Rattle, conductor
Mark Padmore, Evangelist
Christian Gerhaher, Jesus
Camilla Tilling, soprano
Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Simon Halsey, chorus master
Peter Sellars, director
Co-presented by Park Avenue Armory and Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival.
The Berliner Philharmoniker residency in New York City is made possible by a leadership gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Marina Kellen French.
Park Avenue Armory and Lincoln Center would like to thank Carnegie Hall for its collaboration in making possible these Berliner Philharmoniker performances.
This production is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.