And You Must Suffer


Director Pierre Audi brings reflections on suffering and compassion of Bach's St. John Passion against a background of the moral and democratic deficit of our times.

Because of its supposed anti-Semitic nature, Bach’s St. John Passion is the most controversial of his Passions. The libretto combines the Bible story of the Passion with poetry, while in the music narrative recitatives alternate with choruses. The result is intense and dramatic. In And you must suffer, the director Pierre Audi brings Bach’s themes up to date. He sets his reflections on suffering and compassion against a background of the fanaticism and moral and democratic deficit of our times. The initial inspiration for his sober stage design was Viae Crucis, in which the artist Wim Delvoye sees through everything using X-rays and thoroughly undermines religious truth. The Palestinian-Israeli composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi moulds the fiery words of The Arab Apocalypse by the Lebanese poetess Etel Adnan into a musical form in which Arabic influences are subtly absorbed into contemporary sounds. Our resident composer Annelies Van Parys has written a short prologue and epilogue in which noise and silence represent the immeasurability of love and loss. An all-embracing work of art with the meditative intensity of sublime verses.

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Produced by Muziektheater Transparant and B’Rock Orchestra, co-produced by Klarafestival, Kaaitheater, De Munt/La Monnaie and Cappella Amsterdam. 

Location Dates Hour  
Opéra De Rouen (Rouen)
+33 2 35 98 50 98
Composition: J.S. Bach • Samir Odeh-TamimiAnnelies Van ParysMusical direction: Andreas SperingDirection (mise-en-espace): Pierre AudiSet Design |Costume Design: Roel Van BerckelaerVideo: Mirjam Devriendt • Vincent Dunoyer • Image: Wim DelvoyeLighting design: Peter QuastersChrist: Robert DaviesEvangelist: Jakob PilgramSoprano: Grace DavidsonAlto: Benno SchachtnerTenor: Magnus StavelandBass: Tomáš KrálEnsemble: B'Rock Orchestra Choir: Cappella Amsterdam