17th March 2022 @ 7:00 pm
Southwark Cathedral & Coventry Cathedral

The German Choir of London and Coventry Cathedral Choir perform a new interpretation of J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion with an original libretto by playwright Ross McGregor, in Southwark Cathedral (7pm 17 March) and Coventry Cathedral (6pm 19 March).

Kieran Rayner will play Robert Scholl (Sophie’s father) and Möhr (an interrogator), as well as singing the bass arias.

Hans and Sophie Scholl are amongst the most famous personalities in Germany. Nearly every town has a Scholl Square, a Geschwister Scholl School, or a Sophie Scholl Street. Their lives are a set part of the German history curriculum in every school and every year new books, documentaries and films about their lives are published.

On May 9, 2021, it would have been Sophie Scholl’s 100th Birthday.

The lives of Hans and Sophie Scholl, founder of the White Rose resistance group, are widely unknown in the UK. That there was resistance in the public during NS time is for many British still news, having learnt at school mainly about the obeying Germans during the war and the enormous following for Hitler.

The German Choir of London wants to tell a different story.

For this concert the German Choir commissioned a play that accompanies J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion to highlight the story of Sophie Scholl, executed by the Gestapo in 1943 for opposing Hitler with a campaign of non-violence during the Second World War.

The concert will tell the story of Sophie, confined in Stadelheim Prison, Munich in the period before her death, through an original libretto created by playwright Ross McGregor, by combining letters, newspaper articles, the White Rose leaflets and court protocols with the music of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

This new interpretation will be performed with the German Choir of London and Coventry Cathedral Choir in Southwark Cathedral (17 March) and Coventry Cathedral (19 March). It will encourage us to remember that the courage of Sophie Scholl and her fellow conspirators is an inspiration through time, a reminder that fighting injustice, fighting against systems which are wrong, even against the greatest odds, is truly a message of our time.