A rarely performed sacred work by J. S. Bach and a masterpiece by Telemann that has never been performed in Australia sounds like perfect programming for Pinchgut Opera although they are not operas. In 2019 Pinchgut is inaugurating a season of concerts that glorify the human voice; this sounds like an excellent beginning. The work by Bach is his Easter Oratorio of 1725 and that by Telemann is his Thunder Ode; they will performed in Melbourne on 6 April and Sydney on 7 April.
Bach’s Easter Oratorio was first performed on 1 April, 1725 in St. Thomas’ Church, Leipzig. There are four characters: Simon Peter and John the Apostle hurrying to the tomb of Jesus and finding it empty, meeting up with Mary Magdalene and ‘the other Mary’, Mary Jacobe. This oratorio was a particular favourite of Bach’s although it has been not so well known in recent times.
The Thunder Ode was written by Telemann in response to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami which destroyed Lisbon in 1755, killing 60,000 people. Voltaire featured the same event in Candide. Telemann’s Thunder Ode was premiered in Hamburg on a special day of penitence commemorating the tragedy. Pinchgut’s artistic director Erin Helyard will conduct the splendid Orchestra of the Antipodes with soloists Alexandra Oomens (soprano), Anna Dowsley (mezzo), Richard Butler (tenor), David Greco (baritone), and Andrew O’Connor (bass). This is likely to be another example of Pinchgut’s quality innovation.
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