Jim DeBrosse
he, him, his
Cincinnati, OH
I'm the author of five books, a veteran journalist, and a retired journalism professor. "Passacaglia" is my first play.


by JIm DeBrosse

Johann Sebastian Bach believed that music was a direct path to knowing God.  But throughout his life, his faith struggled against his enormous pride, the scorn of his musical and religious contemporaries, his grief over the early deaths of his loved ones and, most dramatically, his estrangement from his more successful son Carl (C.E.P. Bach). Blind and nearing the end of life, the great musician stops composing and is tortured with doubts about his own faith and salvation. It is only through the love of those closest to him that he reconnects with Carl and finds peace, at last, in the final moments before his death. The thematic framework for the story, and the inspiration for the title, is Bach's organ masterpiece, the Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor. (Passacaglia translates "to change, to step through.")  This and other of Bach’s finest works are scattered throughout the play as he reflects back on key moments in his life.

CHARACTERS BACH – All ages. MARIA/ANNA – Bach’s two wives. ANDREAS/DOORMAN/PASTOR – Bach’s best friend/Silent part in Act I, Scene 12/During Easter Mass, in Act II, scene 9. CATHARINA/SINGER/SERVANT GIRL – Bach’s oldest daughter/Silent Part in Act I, Scene 2/Silent part in Act I, Scene 8. FREDERICK/MAN’S STERN VOICE O.S./DR. TAYLOR – Prince and King of Prussia/Pastor O.S. in Act I, Scene 5/Eye surgeon in Act II, Scene 13. CARL/THOMAS/ERNST– Bach’s oldest son/Masked ruffian in Act I, Scene 8/ Old rector at St. Thomas in Act II, Scene 7. LEOPOLD/ERNESTI – Prince of Anhalt-Koethen/New Rector at St. Thomas in Act II, Scene 12. CHOIR BOY’S and YOUNG CARL’S VOICES O.S. – Pre-recorded.