Johann Theile St. Matthew Passion – Arcadia Players

New England’s Period Instrument Ensemble
Andrew Arceci, Artistic Director

Johann Theile St. Matthew Passion
Arcadia Players Ensemble and Chorus, with soloists William Hite, tenor, and John Salvi, baritone

Directed by Gregory Hayes

Sunday, April 2nd at 4pm

Bombyx Center, Florence MA

The German composer Johann Theile—a gifted pupil of Heinrich Schütz and a teacher of Dietrich Buxtehude—published his elegant Mätthaus-Passion in 1673, some 54 years before Johann Sebastian Bach created his own setting.

On Sunday, April 2nd at 4pm, Arcadia Players brings Theile’s masterpiece to the Bombyx Center in Florence, in a performance featuring tenor William Hite (Evangelist) and baritone John Salvi (Jesus). The organist is Larry Schipull. Gregory Hayes conducts the Arcadia Players Ensemble and Chorus.

The complete Theile work has never been performed in Western New England. Originally scheduled for March of 2020, this highly anticipated premiere was postponed several times due to the pandemic. Now, Arcadia Players is proud to present this music to a live audience in the region for the very first time. Two brief works by Theile’s contemporaries Dietrich Buxtehude and Dietrich Becker will begin the program.

Tickets are available at or at, or at the door. Students with valid ID, $10 at the door. Groups of 6+ please contact the Arcadia Players office at 413-586-8742.


Founded in 1989, Arcadia Players is a professional ensemble of musicians specializing in historical performance practice and dedicated to presenting music of the past in a fresh light for audiences old and new. We offer a series of concerts each year in communities around western Massachusetts and beyond, bringing together artists and audiences from throughout the region to engage listeners and showcase the work of area performers. Andrew Arceci became our new Artistic Director in the spring of 2022.

Arcadia Players’ concert season is made possible through the support of our patrons and donors, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the local cultural councils of Northampton, Amherst, South Hadley and Hadley, and our media partner, New England Public Media. Arcadia Players is Ensemble-in-Residence at the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies at UMass Amherst.                                                                                       (continued….)

William Hite (Evangelist) is a critically-acclaimed artist who has appeared in opera, concert, chamber music and solo recitals in a career that has spanned four decades. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik and many other ensembles in the US and abroad. He is Professor of Voice at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

John Salvi (Jesus) has been heard throughout the Northeast as well as Washington, D.C. and Montreal, Canada with Opera Boston, Opera North, Commonwealth Opera, Arcadia Players, Hampshire Choral Society and more. John earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from UMass Amherst. Along with his active performing schedule, he is a music teacher and choral director at Haverhill High School in Haverhill, MA.

Larry Schipull (Organist) has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia. He has appeared as organ recitalist at Wesleyan, Yale, and Drake Universities; as pianist/lecturer at Yale University, and as a concerto soloist with orchestras in Curaçao and Macau. A national and international award winner, he is Professor Emeritus of Music at Mount Holyoke College.

Gregory Hayes (Conductor) recently retired as Senior Lecturer at Dartmouth College, where he taught piano and harpsichord since 1991. He performs with the Springfield, Vermont, and Albany Symphony Orchestras, with Arcadia Players, the New England Bach Festival and Mohawk Trail Concerts. He was the longtime music director for the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence and has taught for many summers at Greenwood Music Camp. He is a graduate of Amherst College and the Manhattan School of Music.

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