This Easter, Stefan Kennedy sang the role of the Evangelist in the Oxford Bach Soloists’ performance of Bach’s St John Passion. We asked Stefan a few questions about his life in music.

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your training?

Originally from Liverpool, I went on to read Music at Clare College Cambridge where I held a choral scholarship and then a Lay Clerkship. After Cambridge, I continued to study singing privately whilst enjoying a few years as a teacher and a Lay Clerk at Chichester Cathedral. I am now studying on the preparatory-opera course at the Royal Academy of Music where I study with Neil Mackie and Iain Ledingham.

Tell us some of the highlights of your career to date.

During my time at Chichester, I was lucky to be able to perform both the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion and Schubert’s Die schone Müllerin in the cathedral. I very much enjoyed being a part of the chorus at Opera Holland Park’s 2016 season and I am looking forward to joining English Voices this summer at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

You have recently performed the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion. Tell us about some the challenges this presented.

It goes without saying that the role of the Evangelist is vocally demanding. I also believe that the Evangelist can shape the emotional and dramatic content within the Passion. The recitative needs to be paced and shaped in a way that allows the audience to be drawn into the story as if they are witnessing it in person.

Other than the Oxford Bach Soloists, what other musical ensembles are you involved with?

I enjoy singing with church choirs around London including Westminster Abbey, the Brompton Oratory and the Tower of London. I have been fortunate to work with groups such as Polyphony, Chapelle du Roi and the Cambridge Singers and in the past year I have thoroughly enjoyed working on Bach projects with Amici Voices. Performing in Bach’s St John Passion at Easter was my first performance with Oxford Bach Soloists but I have worked with Tom Hammond-Davies before as a member of the Blenheim Singers. 

What are your ambitions in music?

Next year I will be joining the Dutch National Opera Academy for further studies and I hope to explore operatic work in the coming years as well as further concert work. I also have high hopes of seeing Liverpool win the Premier League before too long!

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