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2013 Preview - James MacMillan's St John Passion

So, into 2013 and the excitement of one of the biggest challenges of my whole career, James MacMillan's brilliant but seriously difficult St John Passion. I remember clocking up over 50 hours rehearsing for the first performance of Richard Rodney Bennett's House of Sleepe with the King's Singers back in 1973.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to perform the south-west premiere of this seminal work, and it will be all-consuming for the next three months, learning and rehearsing it with CBBC, EFC, the Wellensian Consort and Southern Sinfonia. The support and enthusiasm from the choirs have been inspiring and I can't wait to begin assembling this huge jigsaw, bit by bit, matching up the colours, fitting all the intricate rhythmic figures together and being transported as the complete picture begins to emerge. You have to be there! March 16, Wells Cathedral. March 23, Exeter Cathedral.

As an interesting aside, this groundbreaking project has been picked up by the radar of the Somerset-based luxury brand Mulberry, which has featured aspects on its delightful microsite celebrating the best of Britain. Go to – it's really fun.