To mark the holy season of Easter this year music-lovers will have the opportunity of attending  performances of two choral works that have come to be closely associated with this season and which many Christians regard as an integral part of their Easter worship.

On Good Friday, 29 March, there will be a performance of JS Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion, which will take place in the chapel at Diocesan College (Bishop’s), Rondebosch, starting at 17h00. The St George’s Singers, with the Chamber Choir of Rustenburg High School for Girls (director: Elizabeth Sole) and Camerata Tinta Barocca (leader: Quentin Crida), will be conducted by Barry Smith. Soloists will be Lente Louw (soprano), Clint van der Linde (countertenor), Colin Lee (tenor), Charles Ainslie (baritone), George Stevens (bass), Nick de Jager (Evangelist) and Aubrey Lodewyk (Christus) . This great oratorio is divided into two parts, with a supper break between 18h30 and 20h00. Bring a picnic supper and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the college grounds, where secure parking is available. Tickets will be available at the door, at prices R130, R100 (seniors) or R50 (students). All seats are unreserved.

The traditional Easter performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town will take place this year only on Easter Sunday, 31 March. The venue will be, as usual, Cape Town City Hall, with the performance starting at 19h30. The choir, now trained by Richard Haigh, who will be at the organ, will be conducted by Brandon Phillips, and the soloists will be Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout (soprano), Violina Anguelov (mezzo-soprano), Thembinkosi Mgetyengana (tenor) and Mandisinde Mbuyazwe (bass). The singers will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra led by Lucia di Blasio Scott. Rodney Trudgeon, of Fine Music Radio, has kindly agreed to give a pre-concert talk at 18h45.  Booking is through Computicket or the choir (see website www.philchoir.co.za) at prices ranging from R150 to R110, with a discount of R10 per ticket for block bookings of 10 or more.