19 Apr 2021

Considering Matthew Shepard

From Upbeat, 12:30 pm on 19 April 2021
James-Paul Mountstevens

James-Paul Mountstevens Photo: Lewis Francis

If we think “oratorio”, it’s most probably going to be something like Handel’s Messiah or the Bach Passions, based on Biblical subjects.

The contemporary oratorio, 'Considering Matthew Shepard', takes as its starting point a vicious hate crime in the USA. Matthew Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming, who was beaten, tortured and left to die for no other reason than that he was gay. His death became a rallying point for promoting equality and dignity of all people.

'Considering Matthew Shepard' was written by noted US choir director Craig Hella Johnson, and receives its first New Zealand performances in Christchurch on April 24 by Atlas Voices.

Upbeat spoke with one of the singers, James-Paul Mountstevens, who’s active in the Christchurch theatre, music-theatre and classical performing scenes.

Considering Matthew Shepard
Saturday 24 April, 2:30pm, 7:30pm
The Piano Centre for the Performing Arts, 156 Armagh Street Christchurch