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St John Passion

The fifth concert of our 'The Wilderness Pleases' season at Southbank.
London, Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall £10 - £80 Book now

Music & Guest Artists


JS BACH
St John Passion

Mark Padmore director & Evangelist
Mary Bevan soprano
Paula Murrihy mezzo-soprano
Laurence Kilsby tenor
Raoul Stefani Christus (bass)

St John Passion on tour

We perform the St John Passion at Klarafestival in Brussels (27 March), Auditori de Girona (3 April), Theatre de Champs-Elysee, Paris (6 April), Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (7 April) and Tivolivredenburg, Utrecht (8 April).

Eminent Evangelist Mark Padmore guides us on the journey of Christ to the cross in St John Passion with Soprano Mary Bevan, Tenor Laurence Kilsby, Mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy and Bass Raoul Steffani. The word ‘Passion’ is rooted in the Latin word for suffering and tonight’s concert is a meditation on suffering and an attempt to make some sense of it.


‘The Wilderness Pleases’ is inspired by one of the many influential pieces of work to come out of the Enlightenment era; Shaftesbury’s ‘The Moralists.’

In the book, the main character Theocles describes the terror of encountering a group of crocodiles in an Egyptian desert. After escaping the monsters, he is overcome with a desire to admire them as wondrous creatures of the natural world. He says,

‘let us fly to the vast deserts of these parts […] ghastly and hideous as they appear they want not their peculiar beauties. Wilderness pleases.’

With thanks to our supporters

Environmental Partner: Oxford Botanic Garden
Environmental Partner: Oxford Botanic Garden
Deutz Champagne
Deutz Champagne
Gramophone
Gramophone
Swan Turton
Swan Turton