Passion, Lament, Glory
St Paul's Cathedral
Flinders Ln & Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 9035 9309
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This staged performance depicts the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. The musical centrepiece is Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s musical setting of the Stabat Mater (1736) which offers reflections on the emotions expressed by Mary at the Cross. Baroque convention required composers of the day to follow the emotional significance - the affetto - of the text line by line, painting each individual word in its own musical colour. Depicting suffering too great for any mortal to bear, Pergolesi uses subtle and exquisite musical contrasts of forte and piano, high and low, staccato and legato, and complex ornamentation and unusual dissonances. Pergolesi completed the Stabat Mater on his deathbed at the age of 26.
Jane Davidson’s artistic direction amplifies the musical outpourings through strong visual imagery and dance-based movement. Musical direction comes from acclaimed conductor and harpsichordist Erin Helyard, supported by specialist Baroque musicians. The singers and actors are drawn largely from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Soprano, Jacqueline Porter makes a solo appearance, adding her stunning vocal artistry to the drama of the experience.