Good Friday concert everyone can enjoy

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Good Friday concert everyone can enjoy

A Good Friday performance in Charlottetown is being called a beautiful musical experience that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their faith.

The Tenebrae cantata Hope in the Shadows takes place Friday at 11 a.m. at historic St.Paul's Anglican Church.

"It's a rebirth thing, a fresh growth," said choir member Rob Thomson, speaking to Mainstreet's Angela Walker.

"We have spring, and everybody's feeling like bursting forth into new life. In Christian terms, that's about the resurrection of Jesus of course.

"But as in most cultures which have a similar kind of principle or myth — the idea is that you must first go through a dark time, a time of perhaps pain or deprivation."

In Christian terms, that dark time is the death of Jesus on Good Friday, Thomson explained, which is reflected in the vocal service or cantata called a tenebrae. 

There is meaningful symbolism as seven candles are lit and progressively extinguished, leading to a final darkness, St. Paul's added on its Facebook page. 

'So emotionally moved'

Cantatas are a mix of music and narration, and require quite a lot of work to prepare, Thompson said, adding the church has been working on it for two months.

St. Paul's has presented them in the past, and he said the moving, sweetly-lyrical music has a dramatic effect on the audience.

"I'm not kidding when I say there were a bunch of tears in people's eyes, they felt so emotionally moved," said Thompson.

"And that's a good indicator of the value of this. You don't have to be Anglican or even Christian frankly. To go through this, putting yourself in the right mood for sort of a preparation, to burst forth into the joy of Easter, and springtime."

Famous acoustics

St. Paul's, famed for the warmth of its woodwork and the clarity of its acoustics, is a wonderful place for such a performance, Thomson said.

"That's where so many people choose to perform — to launch CDs, to play the jazz festival for instance — because the seats aren't any roaring hell to sit on mind you, but the music, the sound, is fantastic."

Historic St.Paul's Anglican church in Charlottetown is presenting the Tenebrae cantata Hope In the Shadows at 11 a.m. Good Friday, with the service and cantata lasting about one hour.

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