Columbia Pro Cantare reveals 1999-2000 season schedule

Verdi's `Requiem Mass' will be its first concert

Handel's `Messiah' slated

August 19, 1999|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Some six weeks after 22 of its members returned from a singing tour of the Czech Republic, Columbia Pro Cantare, Howard County's premier choral organization, has announced details of its 1999-2000 concert season.

Under the baton of conductor Frances Motyca Dawson, Pro Cantare will begin its 23rd season Oct. 30 at the Jim Rouse Theatre of the Performing Arts at Wilde Lake in Columbia with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's monumental "Requiem Mass."

Dedicated to the memory of Italian novelist and nationalist Alessandro Manzoni, the Verdi requiem is a dramatic musical treatment of the Roman liturgy for the dead. One musical wag contemplating the impassioned "Ingemisco" tenor aria and the thumping bass drum beats that herald the "Dies Irae," the Day of Wrath, referred to the requiem as "the greatest opera Verdi never wrote."

Motyca Dawson's soloists will be soprano April Joy Gutierrez, who sang in the New York City Opera's production of "La Traviata" last season, mezzo Marianna Busching of the Peabody Conservatory faculty, tenor Charles Reid and baritone Lester Lynch.

On Dec. 5, Pro Cantare returns to the Rouse Theatre to usher in the Christmas season with the most popular oratorio ever written, George Frideric Handel's "Messiah."

Composed by Handel over a 24-day span in August and September of 1741, "Messiah's" evocative arias and grand choruses such as "For Unto Us a Child Is Born," "And the Glory of the Lord" and, of course, the magnificent "Hallelujah" have come to personify the musical essence of the Christmas festival.

Soprano Amy van Roekel, a sparkler who delighted Annapolis Opera audiences at the company's annual competition a few years back, will handle soloist duties along with mezzo soprano Rosa Maria Pascarella, Reid and Lynch.

Pro Cantare travels to Baltimore on March 26 to perform "Bach to Bach," a program of choral, orchestral and organ works commemorating the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach's death.

The Second Presbyterian Church Choir, organist Margaret Budd and a festival orchestra also will participate in this concert to be presented under the aegis of Second Presbyterian's Concert Series.

Pro Cantare comes back to Columbia and the Rouse Theatre on May 6 for the final concert of the season, "A Choral Carnival of the Animals." This lighthearted program of music with animal themes will showcase the Peabody Children's Chorus under the direction of Doreen Falby.

Season brochures detailing the full concert schedule and ticket prices may be obtained after Sept. 1 by calling 410-465-5744.

Pub Date: 8/19/99

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