Saturday, July 1, 2023


Andrew Goodwin singing as the Evangelist

Music by J.S.Bach

Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by Elizabeth Scott

Llewellyn Hall, 30 June


Reviewed by Len Power


From the electrifying singing of the chorus of the opening of Bach’s “St John Passion”, it quickly became apparent that this performance was going to be something special.

Composed for Good Friday 1724, this story of Christ’s passion is dramatic and thoroughly involving as Bach’s glorious music weaves its spell over this much told story.  The story begins with Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and continues through his trial and, finally, his crucifixion.

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Scott, was joined by soloists Chloe Lankshear, soprano, Andrew O’Connor, bass, David Greco, bass, Tobias Cole, counter tenor and Andrew Goodwin, tenor, also taking over the Evangelist role from Robert Macfarlane, who was indisposed. Dan Walker, tenor, sang the smaller role of Servant.

The orchestra, conducted very well by Elizabeth Scott, played superbly throughout and the chorus singing, directed by Tobias Cole, was very strong and accurate, bringing out the full colour and meaning of Bach’s dramatic music.

The singing of the principal parts was notable for the way the distinctive voices complemented each other. Highlights included Chloe Lankshear’s beautiful singing of “Dissolve, my heart, in floods of tears”, Tobias Cole’s aria, “It is finished”, Andrew O’Connor’s heartfelt singing throughout of the role of Jesus and David Greco’s aria, ” My precious saviour, let me ask”. Andrew Goodwin gave an extraordinary performance in the large role of the Evangelist, singing it with assurance, drama and great appeal.


Photo by Martin Ollman


This review was first published by Canberra CityNews digital edition 1 July 2023.

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at