Armonico Consort perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion at Coventry Cathedral - The Leamington Observer

Armonico Consort perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion at Coventry Cathedral

ARMONICO Consort perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion as one of the first events of their 20th anniversary celebrations.

The celebrated Warwick-based choir and ensemble will be joined by international soloists, tenor Toby Spence (Evangelist) and bass baritone Sir Willard White (Christus) for the performance at Coventry Cathedral on Thursday July 8.

The concert was to have been staged at Armonico’s ‘home’ venue of St Mary’s in Warwick, but that cannot host concerts of more than 75 minutes under the government’s extension to stage 3 of the roadmap.

Both soloists have illustrious careers that have taken them to the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls of the world.

Toby Spence describes St Matthew Passion as “one of the great masterpieces of all time – beautiful, cathartic and meaningful”, while Sir Willard White says of Bach’s music, “there is a sense of being taken to an elevated state of being: sacred, spiritual and human”.

They join the critically-acclaimed Armonico Consort playing on instruments of the period to give a vivid insight into the way Bach would have heard his masterpiece performed.

St Matthew Passion was first performed in Leipzig on Good Friday 1727. It contains some of Bach’s most beautiful, evocative and dramatic music, from dance-like instrumental solos, to sorrowful arias and grief-stricken choruses, telling the story of betrayal and sacrifice, courage and conviction.

Armonico Consort artistic director and founder Christopher Monks said: “It feels incredibly exciting to celebrate our milestone as the world emerges from lockdown. Tickets for all concerts have never sold as quickly as they are now, and to start the year with a work which has been by my side for all of my time with Armonico feels totally fitting.

“During the past year we have developed, adapted, re-invented and remained agile whilst staying present for our musicians, audiences and community groups. This has certainly been our biggest challenge to date – and at such short notice – but there was no way we were going to be defeated.”

The concert starts at 7.30pm. For tickets and details visit or call 01926 334418.

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