January 15th, 2012
‘The performance of the St Matthew Passion, staged by Patrick Kinmonth and conceived and conducted by Suzi Digby, was one of the most inspirational evenings I can remember. The power and theatre and passion of Bach?s music, combined some of the greatest vocalists in the world, both solo and choral, with a virtual choir of ‘Young Ambassadors’, almost all of whom were new to ?classical? music. This made for a performance that caused the hairs to rise on the back of the neck from the first bars to the great close. It was beyond wonderful to see the Young Ambassadors in the audience (watching themselves in the projected Virtual Choir video for the final chorale) overcome by a music that might have at first glance seemed irrelevant to those of us who are secular and very 21st century. But the power and the infinite emotional depths of the Bach?s masterpiece clearly inspired those singers as much as it did the mesmerised audience. If the Vocal Futures model does not provide a visionary example of how to develop the young audiences of the future, nothing will.