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The Seven Last Words of Christ

  • Rosebud Chamber Music Festival Rosebud, Alberta Canada (map)

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Akokiniskway Art Gallery
Shows 4:30 & 8pm
Email to reserve seats

Coming to Alberta this March, The Rosebud Chamber Music Festival Presents: Joseph Haydn’s Opus 51, Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross featuring Morris Ertman as Narrator. 

The Rosebud Chamber Music Festival is pleased to present this stirring work in partnership with Morris Ertman, Artistic Director of Rosebud Theatre. The program features some of the most beautiful music of the classical era, traditionally performed during the season of Lent.

In his preface to the composition, Joseph Haydn had this to say:

I was requested by a canon of Cádiz to compose instrumental music on the Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On the Cross. It was customary at the Cathedral of Cádiz to produce an oratorio every year during Lent, the effect of the performance being not a little enhanced by the following circumstances. The walls, windows, and pillars of the church were hung with black cloth, and only one large lamp hanging from the center of the roof broke the solemn darkness. At midday, the doors were closed and the ceremony began. After a short service the bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced the first of the seven words (or sentences) and delivered a discourse thereon. This ended, he left the pulpit and fell to his knees before the altar. The interval was filled by music. The bishop then in like manner pronounced the second word, then the third, and so on, the orchestra following on the conclusion of each discourse

The spoken word component for these performances are original texts written and performed by Rosebud Theatre’s Artistic Director, Morris Ertman. Ertman says this of the opportunity to share in this musical story: 

If we didn’t know what was coming next in the Gospel stories, these would be the last words Jesus would ever speak. What was it like to be a witness to these words without the context of the rest of the Easter story? What went through the minds and hearts of the smattering of people who heard Jesus‘ few suffering words? We’re sharing an imaginative narrative that places us with those witnesses in the question of the moment, rather than the certainty of the outcome. All of it is framed in Haydn’s amazing music played by these amazing instrumentalists from across Canada. 



This performances will feature some of Canada’s finest musicians. Violinists include Sheila Jaffé, a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and a perennial favourite of the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival and Elizabeth Skinner, a phenomenal talent currently completing her Doctoral studies at McGill University. Cellist Julie Hereish spent last summer as a member of Rosebud Theatre’s production of The Spitfire Grill; she is the Associate Principal Cellist of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. On viola, Keith Hamm is the Principal Violist of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and founder of the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival.

Please consider taking in a performance as part of your celebrations this Easter season.

Later Event: August 7
Reading Party