Copied to clipboard

Masaaki Suzuki and Bach’s St John Passion 2023-2024

A peerless specialist of the music of Bach, Masaaki Suzuki joins the OSM to conduct the stirring St John Passion.

A peerless specialist of the music of Bach, Masaaki Suzuki joins the OSM to conduct the stirring St John Passion. In the hands of the composer, the sacred text is transformed through the music’s accentuation of its tragic character. The Evangelist’s account, suffused with an ardent expressivity, is the common thread of a drama interspersed with contemplative arias. The meditative chorales entrusted to the choir provide the work with its structure, imparting it with a timeless, universal dimension.


Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

Werner Güra, tenor

Bernhard Hansky, bass

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano

Reginald Mobley, countertenor

Mauro Peter, tenor

Megan Chartrand,
soprano – ancilla (servant)

David Menzies,
tenor – Diener (servant)

Nathaniel Watson,
bass – Petrus (Pierre)

Geoffroy Salvas,
bass – Pilatus (Pilate)

Chœur de l’OSM 

Andrew Megill, OSM chorusmaster


The chorusmaster chair is generously sponsored by Mrs. Ann Birks, in loving memory of Barry Drummond Birks.


J.S. Bach, St John Passion, BWV 245 (114 min.)

With intermission

Total duration135minutes

Masaaki Suzuki


Since founding the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J. S. Bach. As their music director, he has taken them to major venues and festivals, earning them an outstanding reputation. In addition to working with renowned period ensembles such as the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Suzuki is regularly invited to conduct a diverse range of repertoires for orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. His impressive discography on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s choral and harpsichord works, received high critical praise. The Bach Collegium Japan recently completed an epic recording of the complete Bach cantatas.

Also a distinguished organist and harpsichordist, Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the Tokyo University of the Arts and was a faculty member at the Yale School of Music. He has received several awards for his contributions to music, including the Leipzig Bach Medal (2012) and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize (2013).

Werner Güra


German tenor Werner Güra was born in Munich and received his musical training at Mozarteum Salzburg. After appearing as a guest at opera houses in Frankfurt and Basel, he joined the ensemble of Semperoper Dresden where he performed in many Mozart and Rossini operas. He was subsequently invited to perform at the Staatsoper Berlin, Paris Opera, La Monnaie Brussels and Opernhaus Zurich. Werner Güra appears on Europe’s major concert platforms including Konzerthaus and Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie in Berlin, Cologen and Paris and Tonhalle Zurich, working with many leading orchestras such as the Orchestre National de France, Vienna and Pittsburgh Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras. He performs with many conductors, including Riccardo Chailly, Pablo Heras-Casado, Manfred Honeck, Fabio Luisi, Franz Welser-Möst, Sir András Schiff and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and was a frequent collaborator of the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Song recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Paris and Lincoln Center New York and he has made numerous highly acclaimed recordings. Werner Güra has been teaching at the Zurich Music Academy since 2009.

Bernard Hansky


German baritone Bernhard Hansky is acclaimed as “a buffo baritone of irresistible mirth” (Der Tagesspiegel). He worked closely with the Semperoper Dresden, recently assuming the roles of Alvaro in a new production of Il Viaggio a Reims, Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Kilian in Der Freischütz, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, Morales in Carmen, and Niceros in Satyricon, which also took him to Osterfestspiele Salzburg and the Teatro Comunale Modena. Other highlights include Ping in new productions of Turandot at Staatsoper Berlin with Zubin Mehta and at Staatsoper Hamburg with Giacomo Sagripanti, Hermann/Schlemil in a new production of Les contes d’Hoffmann, also in Hamburg with Kent Nagano, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Orchestre national de Lille and Alpesh Chauhan. He has appeared at Komische Oper Berlin, as a member of the Opernstudio, and is a guest of prominent festivals in Copenhagen, Lignano, Wildbad, and Grafenegg.


Sherezade Panthaki


Sherezade Panthaki, soprano, enjoys ongoing international collaborations with conductors Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Mark Morris and others. Recent engagements include early music and oratorio performances with the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Wiener Akademie (Austria), NDR Hannover Radiophilharmonie (Germany), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Canada). Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds graduate degrees from the Yale School of Music and the University of Illinois. She is a founding member of the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble, which celebrates racial and ethnic diversity in performances and provides educational programs of early and new music. Ms. Panthaki is a renowned clinician, has taught voice at Yale University, and currently heads the Vocal program at Mount Holyoke College.

Reginald Mobley


Grammy-nominated American countertenor Reginald Mobley is celebrated worldwide for his interpretations of Baroque, Classical, and modern repertoires. and modern repertoire. Renowned for his “shimmering voice” (Bachtrack), he leads a prolific career on both sides of the Atlantic.

An advocate for diversity in music programming, Reginald became the first-ever programming consultant for the Handel & Haydn Society. He serves as Visiting Artist for Diversity Outreach with Apollo’s Fire and leads a UK research project to uncover music by composers from diverse backgrounds.

Reginald’s schedule includes solo recitals in New York and Chicago, performances with such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Symphony, and regular appearances with prestigious baroque ensembles. He has performed with notable European orchestras and ensembles including the Orchester Wiener Akademie and the Freiburger Barockorchester. Reginald has collaborated with the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge and debuted a solo recital in Paris, reprising it at the Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival. He released his first solo album with ALPHA Classics in June 2023 to critical acclaim.

Mauro Peter


Swiss tenor Mauro Peter studied in Munich and was a member of the Zurich Opera ensemble from 2013 to 2023. Opera engagements to date have taken him to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Semperoper in Dresden, La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Theater an der Wien and the Salzburg Festival, where he has appeared as a regular guest. Mauro Peter has already worked with renowned conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Constantinos Carydis, Teodor Currentzis, Gustavo Dudamel, Ádám Fischer, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Vladimir Jurowski, Zubin Mehta, Trevor Pinnock and Andrés Orozco-Estrada, while his collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt was of notable importance.

On the recital stage he has performed at the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Cologne Philharmonie and the Pierre Boulez Saal, among others.
In summer 2023, Mauro Peter toured as Loge in Wagner’s Das Rheingold with Concerto Köln under the baton of Kent Nagano and will this summer make his role debut as Max in Weber’s Der Freischütz at the Bregenz Festival.