"All about Bach's Passions": SingFest's Accessible Art Online Lecture Series


“All about Bach’s Passions”: SingFest’s Accessible Art Online Lecture Series

Hosted by classical music radio presenter, Calvin Lai and presented by members of SingFest, this project introduces Bach’s Passions to the public through a series of online lectures and lecture demonstrations. Apart from its association with liturgical music, Bach’s Passions convey vivid portrayals of humanity in face of despair, fear, loss and pain. While these poignant works continue to touch upon audiences worldwide, the music speaks to everyone who is confronted by adversities under the pandemic.


Education is at the heart of SingFest. Since its establishment in 2012, SingFest has launched a series of choral-related education programmes for professional musicians, school teachers, university and secondary students, as well as music enthusiasts, under the guidance of world-class maestros. SingFest staged their first “choral theatre” production in 2016. In recent years, SingFest is dedicated to exploring the possibility of the promotion of early choral music through innovative platforms. Launching the “Bach im Theater” and Choral Micro-movie series, the organisation combines solo and choral singing with contemporary theatre, with the hope of making early music accessible to a wider audience.

Listen for the Unspoken Pandemic Sensibilities in Passions

Among the over 200 religious choral works composed by Bach, the St John Passion (BMV 245) and St Matthew Passion (BMV 244) are two of the most prominent masterpieces. The two works depict the crucifixion of Jesus in the form of solo, chorus and orchestra performances.

The project comprises five sessions of classical music lectures and excerpt performance videos, which look into Passions from different aspects (with sign interpretation and Chinese subtitles for accessibility).

Episode 1 – Structure of Passion Music

Episode 2 – What’s the Story?

Episode 3 – Depicting Characters through Music: Petrus, Judas and Pilatus

Episode 4 – The Adventurous Use of Chorus

Episode 5 – A Variety of Musical Expressions