The People's Passion, Friday

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AD05 LASTThe People's Passion, Friday: The Road To Emmaus20120406

BBC Radio 4's major series for Holy Week looks at life in our cathedrals now.

Cathedrals still dominate our city centres: once symbols of temporal power, of technological wonder, a vital part of our musical health, and more recently the focus of protest and appeals to a new morality - what do they mean to us now?

A week of original dramas set in a fictional cathedral, and daily features from real ones, explore how our great cathedrals offer an image of the contradictions of faith in twenty-first century Britain.

The People's Passion Mass and Easter Anthem, composed specially for the series by Sasha Johnson Manning, with lyrics written by the poet Michael Symmons Roberts, not only features in the programmes, but has been made freely available by the BBC, and will be sung by over a hundred and forty choirs around Britain and across the world, as we move towards Easter Day.

The People's Passion Mass and Anthem will be broadcast in full on Easter Sunday, as part of Sunday Worship for Easter Day, from Manchester Cathedral.

5/5: Friday: The Road to Emmaus

by Nick Warburton

Good Friday is a big day for Robert, the Cathedral's Director of Music. And despite his attempts to clear his mind, it all keeps going out of kilter. In fact, as the Cathedral fills and empties for the afternoon service and the big evening performance by the Voluntary choir, no one - from lost tourists to late singers - seems to be quite themselves...

The Old Man....David Bradley

Alice....Sarah Gordy

Graham....Kim Wall

Robert....James Fleet

Rebecca....Claire Rushbrook

Lynne....Tina Gray

Callum....Harry Livingstone

with Peter Hamilton-Dyer

Produced and Directed by Jonquil Panting

Original music by Sasha Johnson Manning, with lyrics by Michael Symmons Roberts.

Performed by:

Manchester Chamber Choir, directed by Christopher Stokes, with Jeffrey Makinson (organ), Rob Shorter (tenor), Rebecca Whettam (cello), Jahan Hunter (trumpet) and Holly Marland (recorder).

BBC Singers with Eleanor Gregory (soprano), Margaret Cameron (alto), Chris Bowen (tenor), Stephen Charlesworth (bass) and Andrew Earis (piano).

Andrew Kirk (organ), and the choir of Saint Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.

More People's Passion:

Friday 6th April at 1345: BELIEF AND BELONGING: the philosopher John Gray visits Canterbury to discuss the cathedral and its meaning with the Archbishop, Dr Rowan Williams.

Friday 6th April at 1500: GOOD FRIDAY LITURGY follows this Afternoon Drama

Sunday 8th April at 0810: SUNDAY WORSHIP, EASTER DAY live from Manchester Cathedral, with the People's Passion Mass and Easter Anthem.

Good Friday at the cathedral, and no-one seems quite themselves.