St Mark Passion Performance

19th March 2022

On Sunday 13 March 2022, the College hosted a performance of Oliver Tarney’s St Mark Passion: a powerful setting of the narrative of Jesus’ Passion and Crucifixion, based on St Mark’s account. Winchester College Glee Club was joined by eight brilliant soloists, a professional orchestra, and a professional choir, Sansara, who sang the semi-chorus parts. 

“original, ingenious, intelligent, moving and, at times, indisputably profound.”

Head of Composition, Oliver Tarney combined with librettist and English don Lucia Quinault to write the work. Commissioned by the St Endellion Easter Festival, and first performed on Good Friday 2019, this dramatic and profound setting of the Passion narrative does not, as Tarney writes, “depict the horror and humiliation of the events surrounding the crucifixion itself” but rather uses the parables and miracles of Jesus to “provide a lens through which to apprehend the most appalling part of the story”. 

This was its first Winchester performance, with Assistant Director of Chapel Music Ben Cunningham conducting the combined forces. The performance included the church bell from St Endellion, Cornwall, and was part of the College's Visiting Artists series.

The performance was met with a well-deserved standing ovation from a packed New Hall and Headmaster, Tim Hands, commented: “This was an evening no one will forget: original, ingenious, intelligent, moving and, at times, indisputably profound.”

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