This Gospel was the second one that Michael memorized. It was premiered May 4, 1986 at Old Saint Mary's Church in San Francisco, California.
Reading this text is not the same as hearing it. The hearing of John lessens some of the perceived philosophical and theological headiness of this Gospel, bringing it to the listeners' level and giving it an intimate and emotional quality. This hearing makes the loving person of Jesus more present to his listeners.
John is full of repeating symbols, especially of Water and Light. The large bowl of water on the left in the picture is visited several times in the performance and points to the use of water in the Gospel of John. Light is another theme that is used in this production. During the second act following the Last Supper discourse, Michael comes out into the audience carrying a candle, greeting as many individuals as possible while reciting the vine and branches passage of the Gospel. The priestly prayer of Jesus immediately follows, and the drama continues into the Passion.
In John, specially selected music from classical repertoire is used, as well as an original score. These pieces fit the performance well and integrate beautifully into it. Both the length and the spirit of these selections seem to have been composed for this purpose.