Six performances of legendary choreographer John Neumeier's internationally celebrated staging, featuring the Hamburg Ballet, will be performed March 12 through 17

(Los Angeles) February 14, 2022 — LA Opera will present a rare staged production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion from March 12 through 27, 2022, conducted by Music Director James Conlon. 

The presentation is a balletic interpretation of Bach's sacred masterpiece featuring the dancers of the Hamburg Ballet, one of the world's foremost ballet companies. John Neumeier, the artistic director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, is the director, choreographer and designer of the production, which has won international acclaim since its premiere in Hamburg in 1981. Marrying the powerful music and narrative with dance in complete harmony, Neumeier fills the stage with unforgettable movement and images.

"John Neumeier has few rivals in the pursuit of illuminating the full range of human emotions through the art of dance," said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera's president and CEO. "Our first collaboration with him, Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice with the Joffrey Ballet in 2018, was one of the most deeply moving experiences that I can recall seeing on our stage. His interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion will be an experience to treasure for years to come."

LA Opera's new vaccination policy, along with a new, state-of-the-art air filtration system and enhanced cleaning protocols, will ensure the best and safest possible experience for audiences, artists and staff, the company's top priority. (See below for more information.)

About the St. Matthew PassionBach's St. Matthew Passion, first performed in 1727, is considered by many to be the single greatest masterpiece of Western sacred music. Created to be performed in church during Holy Week before Easter, the Passion is ambitious in its scope and musical means, requiring two adult choruses plus a third children’s choir, two chamber orchestras with, ideally, two organs, and six vocal soloists. The profoundly moving story, taken from the Gospel of Matthew, relates the last few days in the life of Jesus. The chief storyteller is the Evangelist, a role for high tenor, and a baritone soloist sings the words of Jesus. The other vocal soloists are heard in arias that express emotional reactions to the events of the story.

The PerformersThe St. Matthew Passion will feature 42 dancers from the Hamburg Ballet, one of the world’s foremost companies. International tours have made it not only a highlight of the international ballet scene, but also one of Germany’s most important cultural ambassadors. John Neumeier has directed the company since 1973. 

The vocal soloists will include tenor Joshua Blue and baritone Michael Sumuel, making their company debuts as the Evangelist and as Jesus, respectively. Also featured are soprano Tamara Wilson, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, tenor Ben Bliss and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson.

The Creative TeamIn addition to directing and choreographing the production, John Neumeier is also the designer of the scenery, costumes and lighting. Grant Gershon is the director of the LA Opera Chorus and Fernando Malvar-Ruiz is the artistic director of the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.

Click here to download production photos and artist headshots.

Performance Dates and TimesThere will be six performances of the St. Matthew Passion at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012:

  • Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 7:30pm
  • Thursday,  March 17, 2022, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 20, 2022, at 2pm
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 2pm

TicketsTickets for the St. Matthew Passion begin at $19 and are on sale now. Vaccination is required for entrance; please see additional information below.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email

More information is available at

Vaccination PolicyIn order to be considered fully vaccinated, patrons must confirm that either 14 days have passed since receiving the second dose of FDA or WHO authorized double-dose vaccines or that 14 days have passed since receiving the sole dose of FDA or WHO authorized single-dose vaccines. Audience members may display proof of vaccine on a smartphone or by showing a physical copy of their vaccination card or official vaccination record, along with a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Guests younger than 18 may present a school photo ID. Those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult who meets the listed requirements. 

Children under 12 and those who are unvaccinated due to a medical or religious reason must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to attending, along with government issued ID. Rapid or antigen tests will not be accepted.

Masks will be required at all times for all patrons and visitors regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces at LA Opera, except while eating and drinking in designated areas. 

About LA OperaLos Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.

In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative, which offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings, reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County.  Learn more at


LA Opera Media Contact
Luz VillarrealDirector of Communications 213.972.7554


Production made possible with generous support fromGRoW @ AnnenbergDavid and Linda ShaheenandCeil and Michael E. Pulitzer 

With special appreciation to Gregory and Régina Annenberg Weingarten 

Susan Graham’s appearance made possible by generous support from The Eva and Marc Stern Principal Artists Fund

LA Opera Orchestra generously underwritten by Terri and Jerry Kohl

LA Opera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.