The presentation is a ballet rendition of Bach’s sacred masterpiece featuring the dancers of the Hamburg Ballet, one of the world’s leading ballet companies. John Neumeier, artistic director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, is the director, choreographer and designer of the production, which has achieved international acclaim since its premiere in Hamburg in 1981. Marrying powerful music and storytelling with the dancing in perfect harmony, Neumeier fills the stage with unforgettable movements and images.
“John Neumeier has few rivals in the pursuit of illuminating the full range of human emotions through the art of dance,” said LA Opera President and CEO Christopher Koelsch. “Our first collaboration with him, Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice with the Joffrey Ballet in 2018, was one of the most moving experiences I can remember seeing on our stage. His interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion will be an experience to cherish for years to come.”
LA Opera’s new vaccination policy, along with a new state-of-the-art air filtration system and enhanced cleaning protocols, will ensure the best and safest experience possible for the public, artists and staff, the company’s top priority. (See below for more information.)
About the Saint Matthew Passion
Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, first performed in 1727, is considered by many to be the greatest masterpiece of Western sacred music. Created for performance in church during Holy Week before Easter, the Passion is ambitious in its scope and musical means, requiring two adult choirs plus a third children’s choir, two chamber orchestras with, ideally, two organs and six vocal soloists. The deeply moving story, taken from the Gospel of Matthew, chronicles the last days of Jesus’ life. The chief storyteller is the evangelist, a role for high tenor, and a baritone soloist sings the words of Jesus. The other vocal soloists are heard in tunes that express emotional reactions to events in the story.
The St. Matthew Passion will feature 42 dancers from the Hamburg Ballet, one of the largest companies in the world. International tours have made her not only a highlight of the international ballet scene, but also one of Germany’s most important cultural ambassadors. John Neumeier has run the company since 1973.
Vocal soloists will include tenor Joshua Blue and baritone Michael Sumuel, debuting in the company as an evangelist and as Jesus, respectively. Also featured are soprano Tamara Wilsonmezzo-soprano Suzanne Grahamtenor Ben Bliss and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson.
The creative team
In addition to directing and choreographing the production, John Neumeier is also the set, costume and lighting designer. Grant Gershon is the director of the LA Opera Chorus and Fernando Malvar-Ruiz is the artistic director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.
Performance dates and times
There will be six performances of the Saint Matthew Passion at the Dorothee Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012:
- Saturday March 12, 2022, at 7.30 p.m.
- Thursday March 17, 2022, at 7.30 p.m.
- Sunday March 20, 2022, at 2 p.m.
- Wednesday March 23, 2022, at 7.30 p.m.
- Saturday March 26, 2022, at 7.30 p.m.
- Sunday March 27, 2022, at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the St. Matthew Passion start at $19 and are on sale now. Vaccination is mandatory for entry; please see additional information below.
Tickets can be purchased online at LAOpera.orgby phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at Dorothee Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For handicap access, call 213.972.0777 or email [email protected].
More information is available at LAOpera.org/Passion.