There was more than one resurrection when Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Singers and Baroque Orchestra performed a “reimagined” St John Passionat a well-attended and long anticipated concert in Chatswood’s Concourse theatre.
The production under the baton of VOX Music Director Elizabeth Scott, which featured two contemporary new works dovetailed into Johann Sebastian Bach’s original score, had originally been planned for SPC’s 2020 season to celebrate the combined choirs’ centenary. COVID, of course, put a stop to that, leaving choristers to keep in practice via Zoom, while audience members made do with their record collections, virtual concerts and streaming platforms for musical entertainment.
Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ St John Passion Reimagined. Photograph © Michael Bradfield
The hall had a holiday atmosphere with the Easter Saturday sunshine streaming into the auditorium through doorways, and less than half the audience masked up, although the use of QR codes, sanitisers and social distancing were encouraged.
The concert got under way with a choral Acknowledgement of Country, Deborah Cheetham and Matthew Doyle’s Tarimi Nulay – long time living here, one of three works on the program that were commissioned as...