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World renowned choir bring global phenomenon 'Lagrime' to Sage Gateshead

Posted on 13 March 2019


One of the largest professional choirs in the world has teamed up with ground-breaking director Peter Sellars to bring a masterpiece to life. And it is coming to Sage Gateshead – the only venue outside London where you can see the show – on May 25.

‘Lagrime di San Pietro’ (The Tears of St Peter) is the emotionally packed final work of Orlando di Lasso brought to life in epic fashion by Peter Sellars and the 21 singers of major, pioneering chorus the Los Angeles Master Chorale. 

A huge hit at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October, Lagrime will also be opening the Salzburg Festival in Austria in July. It comes to Sage Gateshead before heading to the Cite de la Musique in Paris and The Royal Conservatory in Canada as well as other prestigious venues across the globe.

The Los Angeles Master Chorale is the country’s largest professional chorus and choir-in-residence at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision and artist daring, they perform Lagrime like never before, with the entire 75-minute piece committed to memory, unaccompanied and dramatically staged through a modern-day lens.

Written in the weeks before his death – and with Orlando di Lasso knowing that Lagrime was to be the last piece he would ever compose – he packed it with emotion.

The piece depicts the seven stages of grief experienced by St Peter after he renounced his friendship with Jesus Christ before his arrest and subsequent crucifixion.

Before Peter was Saint Peter he denied knowing Jesus three times. After the third time, Jesus looked at Peter. This look pierced Peter so profoundly he was reduced to tears.

“This entire piece is the instant of that look,” says Peter Sellars.

“This piece is something special. You feel this interlocking, interwoven group of lives.”

Lagrime di San Pietro will be performed in Sage One (Sage Gateshead’s main concert hall) on Saturday May 25 at 7.30pm. Ticket prices start from £16.50. Concessions are available for Gateshead residents 17 and under, unemployed and groups. Buses are running specially from Alnwick and Hexham.



“It takes a special group of singers to truly embody the heightened extremes of emotion contained with Lasso’s score…by the end they seem to have almost reached the divine.” Ben Neutze, TimeOut

“Lagrime is a major accomplishment for the Master Chorale, which sang and acted brilliantly. It’s also a major accomplishment for music history.” Mark Swed, LA Times

“To be encapsulated by this performance for 80 minutes was not something difficult to do.” The Michigan Daily

“Kudos for Sellars and the Master Chorale for opening my ears (and eyes) to the world of a cappella choral music with some indelible visual imageries.” Truman Wong, Classical Voice

“If evidence were needed that imaginative staging can provide us with access to difficult works of art, then it was offered in abundance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale in an extraordinary performance of Orlando di Lasso’s a cappella masterpiece, Lagrime di San Pietro.” Simon Williams, Opera News