Every two years, Streetwise Opera stages a major new opera. The next is The Passion, a landmark site-specific production for Easter 2016 in collaboration with world-renowned ensemble The Sixteen and in association with Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film, HOME.
In the historical surrounds of Campfield Market, an abridged version of Bach’s iconic oratorio St Matthew Passion is brought to life as an immersive fully-staged opera.
This contemporary promenade performance guides audience members around Manchester’s much-loved Victorian hall, with a vibrant cast comprising both The Sixteen and performers who have experienced homelessness from Streetwise Opera Manchester.
Following the last two days of Jesus’s life, The Passion’s confrontational narrative is contrasted by the beauty and exultation of its score. Penny Woolcock’s direction sees multiple performers playing the leading role as a poignant reminder of Jesus’s vulnerability and universality.
The production features a new ‘resurrection’ finale which has been jointly written by Streetwise Opera’s performers and celebrated composer Sir James MacMillan. Bleak images are followed by glimmers of hope in The Passion’s joyous closing chorus.