CCM Navigation

CCM: Box Office

CCM: Box Office
Caravaggio’s Taking of Christ, commissioned in 1602.

Caravaggio’s Taking of Christ, commissioned in 1602.

J.S. Bach's ST. MATTHEW PASSION at Christ Church Cathedral

CCM's Department of Choral Studies presents a unique staged performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion, illustrating the dramatic intensity of the Baroque masterwork.

This monumental work retells the compelling story of the events leading up to the trial of Jesus, his crucifixion and burial. CCM's production of St. Matthew Passion will be performed at Cincinnati's Christ Church Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

The performance features the CCM Chamber Choir, Cincinnati Children's Choir and CCM Philharmonia, along with faculty artist Daniel Weeks and student aria soloists. Earl Rivers conducts with stage direction by Andreas Hager.

3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 9

Christ Church Cathedral,
318 East Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Single tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Christ Church Cathedral is located at the corners of Fourth and Sycamore Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. For directions and additional information, please refer to

Earl Rivers, CCM Director of Choral Studies

Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion was first presented in 1727 at the Good Friday Vespers in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig. Bach made numerous revisions, some as late as 1740. After Bach's death in 1750, this masterwork was not heard until 1829, when Mendelssohn discovered it, was awed by it, and performed it. The "Bach Revival," or reawakening of appreciation of Bach's artistic legacy, can be dated from this time. Bach's St. Matthew Passion has become established as the most monumental and sublime example of a musical setting of the passion story.

The St. Matthew Passion is set for two choirs, plus children’s or treble choir, two orchestras and even two continuo groups. This festive scoring underlines the solemnity of this work and projects the grand dimensions of Bach's conception of this Passion setting. The St. Matthew Passion is also meditative, devotional and perhaps even mystical.  An example of this quality can be heard in the way Bach set the words of Jesus — always accompanied by a halo of strings.

The elements of the St. Matthew Passion may be viewed in three groups: as recitatives and turba (crowd) choruses based on the scriptural text of the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapters 26-27; as arias, ariosi and reflective choruses based on poetic texts by Bach's librettist, Picander and probably selected and adjusted by Bach himself; and as chorales (hymns), the tunes and texts of which usually date back several years, even centuries, before Bach's time.

As musicologist Karl Geiringer has pointed out, “among the gems of the score are the accompanied recitatives (ariosi) preceding the arias, [which]...contain some of the most exquisite music Bach ever wrote.  [The arias themselves]...are often conceived as a kind of duet between a singer and an instrument.” It is notable that the famous "Passion Chorale" is heard no less than five times in the work, always in a different key.

Staged productions of the St. Matthew Passion in the recent decade include those of the Berliner Philharmoniker (Simon Rattle, conductor, Peter Sellars, stage director), New York City’s Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Glyndebourne Festival. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presented a staged production in March 2012. CCM’s staged production of the St. Matthew Passion, a Midwest and a Collegiate premiere in 2011, was a collaboration with CCM’s Opera Department and prepared CCM artists for career opportunities that embrace non-traditional and contemporary collaborations among disciplines of traditional symphonic, opera and choral concert programs with drama, video, dance and other new technologies.

CCM previously produced J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Earl Rivers, conductor, at Hyde Park’s Knox Presbyterian Church on November 19, 2006; at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral on November 19, 2000; and at Old St. George’s Church in Corryville on November 24, 1996. Elmer Thomas, Professor Emeritus, conducted previous CCM productions of the Bach St. Matthew Passion at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral on November 12, 1989; at CCM on February 18 and 19, 1983, repeated as a Lecture-Demonstration at the American Choral Directors Association national conference in Nashville, TN on March 11, 1983; at CCM on November 3 and 4, 1977, repeated at Covington’s Cathedral Basilica on November 6, 1977; and at CCM on February 15, 1970, with Kathleen Battle singing the aria, “Aus liebe.”



CCM recognizes and thanks the following corporations, foundations and individuals for their generous support:

Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust
Scholarship and Resident Artist Sponsor

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

CCM/CSO Diversity Fellowship Sponsor and Opera Fusion: New Works Sponsor

The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Season Presenting Sponsor

The Corbett Endowment at CCM
Dance Department Supporter & All-Steinway School Sponsor

H. Wayne Ferguson Family Foundation
The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
Community Partners

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor

Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal
Opera Department Sponsor

Elizabeth C. B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld
Musical Theatre Production Sponsor

Genevieve Smith
Opera Production Sponsor

The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel
Visiting Artists Sponsor

The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander
Mrs. William A. Friedlander
Dr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Wadsworth
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bloom
Mrs. Harry M. Hoffheimer
Mr. & Mrs. J. David Rosenberg
Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen
Mr. & Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman
Dr. & Mrs. Theodore W. Striker
Ariel Quartet Sponsors

Jan Rogers
Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation

Choral Studies Sponsors

Dr. and Mrs. Carl G. Fischer
Ms. Margaret L. Straub & Mr. Neil R. Artman

Studio Drama Series Sponsors

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn
Orchestral Sponsor

Northwestern Mutual
Graeter's Ice Cream

Musical Theatre Performance Sponsors

Teri Jory & Seth Geiger
Dance Performance Sponsors

Trish and Rick Bryan
The CCM Harmony Fund: Challending Hate and Prejudice through Performing Arts
The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
Roz Harkavy
Jeff Thomas Catering
Arlene and Bill Katz
Jared Queen and Matthew McFee

Event Sponsors

The Sarah Marvin Foundation for the Performing Arts
Classical Guitar Sponsor

Rafael & Kimberly Daniel de Acha Foundation
Opera d'arte Sponsor


A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, CCM is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at