Sydney inSpires is Australia’s largest-ever ecumenical conference celebrating and growing all genres of church music. One of the highlights of the conference will be a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion by the National Youth Choir of Australia and the RSCM Festival Choir at the Sydney Town Hall on July 12, with Robert Macfarlane as the Evangelist ,Christopher Richardson as Christ, alongside soloists soprano Penelope Mills, mezzo Sally-Anne Russell, tenor Richard Butler and baritone David Greco.  Limelightspoke to Sydney inSpires festival director Dr David Hill MBE, Principal Conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum, who will conduct the oratorio.

David Hill, Sydney inSpires David Hill. Photo © John Wood

As the  Sydney inSpires festival director, why did you choose the St Matthew Passion for this festival?   

It was Ross Cobb [Music Director and Cathedral Organist at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney] who was keen that it should be performed given the number of singers coming to Sydney. Also, it is a rare opportunity to present a work rarely performed in Australia and with period instruments. Might this be a first?

You’ve performed the Passion a number of times, especially with the Bach Choir in the UK and around the world....