Next week Stephen Layton heads to Australia to begin rehearsals for the St John Passion; Layton conducts Bach’s oratorio firstly with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Hobart on April 6th, followed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra the following week. Joining Layton as the contralto soloist is Jess Dandy, who has recently performed the work with Les Arts Florissants on their European tour. Other soloists include Sarah Macliver, Ruairi Bowen, Michael Craddock and Lawrence Williams, and Gwilym Bowen as the Evangelist.

Later in April, Layton returns to London to conduct the OAE as part of the Holy Week Festival at St John’s Smith Square, whilst Dandy heads up to Scotland to join the Dunedin Consort and Trevor Pinnock for St Matthew Passion in Aberdeen.