Passio | The Hilliard Ensemble


The Hilliard EnsemblePhoto - Friedrun Reinhold

Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi (secundum Joannem)
is the second performance by The Hilliard Ensemble at the 2010 Perth International Festival. Conducted by Joseph Nolan (Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Georges Cathedral Perth), it was a brilliant performance by little known Estonian composer Arvo Pӓrt.

The Hilliard Ensemble is world renown for their performances not only in early music, but their work with living composers and new music. Together for almost 30 years, they formed a long standing relationship with Arvo Pӓrt after recording Passio in 1988.

Passio is a piece where the text and voice take centre stage over the orchestral music. Along with the four members of the outstanding Hilliard Ensemble, WA based Andrew Foote, Jane Edwards and the St Georges Cathedral Consort brought exquisite professionalism to the performance.

Musicians Leanne Glover (Oboe), Jane Kircher (Bassoon), Shaun Lee-Chen (Violin), Eve Silver (Cello) and Stewart Smith (Organ) comprised the five musicians that added depth and ably supported the singers.

It was an interesting stage setup, with the three evangelists (David James, Rogers Covey-Crump, and Gordon Jones - Hilliard) and Edwards standing behind the musicians on one side, and the Consort standing on the other. On either side of the organist in the choir stood Andrew Foote as Jesus and Steven Harrold (Hilliard) as Pilate. No sound enhancement was required, the voices came across powerfully and clear.

Sung in Latin, subtitles were shown on two screens either side of the stage. They were slightly distracting, although it was nice to know the details of what was going on. The emotion was evident in the singing, but the translation did add value. My criticism of the subtitles would be the size of the text – I was towards the back and struggled to read them.

Founded two years ago, the St Georges Cathedral Consort is made up of 18 singers. Lead by Joseph Nolan, they primarily sing evensong at the cathedral, but in 2009 performed in the Cathedral Concert Series. Their diction, precision and control were brilliant and I hope the general Perth music going audience get to see more of this group in the near future.

Silence and stillness is a key part of Pӓrt’s Passio, and ironically it is here that the performers excel. There were many moments were you felt the performers and audience were holding their breath – it was a brilliant study of constraint and concentration from all. This was a treat for music lovers and festival goers.


The Hilliard Ensemble
PASSIO
Arvo Pӓrt

Conducted by Joseph Nolan

Venue: Perth Concert Hall
Date/Time: Thu 25 Feb @ 7.30pm
Duration: 1hr 15min no interval
Tickets: $57.50 - $37.50
Bookings: bocsticketing.com.au

Most read reviews

SHIT | Drill Hall Theatre Company

Employing a minimal cast and set, garnering maximum momentum from the first words uttered, SHIT is cutting-edge theatre – succinct, provocative, evocative, packing a punch from the moment the three actors set foot upon the stage.

Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play | Lightning Jar Theatre

Returning to fortyfivedownstairs after a sold out season, Lightning Jar Theatre presents Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play.

Cluedo! The Interactive Game | Brisbane Immersive Ensemble

The infamy of Cluedo has returned from it's board-game glory, finding a new home tucked away in the labyrinth of Baedecker in Fortitude Valley.

Made To Measure

There’s a lot to chew on in Made To Measure, Alana Valentine’s three-handed examination of finger pointing and tongue lashing regarding body shape and fat shaming.

The Story So Far | Stephen K Amos

Introducing himself to lively hip hop music and vibrant coloured lighting Amos bounced onstage describing the Oz interpretation of Art Deco, Regal Theatre as “Lovely inside and very ugly outside.” So true!

Most read news

Liz Jones announced as recipient of 2019 Sue Nattrass Award

Live Performance Australia is pleased to announce Liz Jones AO as the recipient of this year’s Sue Nattrass Award.

Nakkiah Lui announced as the 2018 STC Patrick White Playwrights Fellow

Sydney Theatre Company announced last night that Nakkiah Lui is the 2018 STC Patrick White Playwrights Fellow.

Hamilton to premiere in Sydney 2021

Hamilton will make its Australian premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in a new production beginning March 2021.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required