Sunday 30 August, 3.00pm
Paul Terracini: Conductor
Jennifer Black: soprano
Grace Chanyang Choi: mezzo-soprano
Tomas Dalton: tenor
Richard Anderson: bass
Willoughby Symphony Choir
In person: The Concourse Box Office, Chatswood
By phone: Ticketek 1300 759 012
Since its premiere in 1874, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem has thrilled audiences all over the world. The KPO will be joined in this concert by stellar soloists from Opera Australia and the full force of the Willoughby Symphony Choir. Written to commemorate the death of the poet, Alessandro Manzoni, the Requiem is one of the most often performed choral-orchestral works in the repertoire. Verdi drew upon all his dramatic and theatrical experience to produce what was described by Brahms as a work of genius.
Verdi’s Requiem had its origins in 1868 as a memorial project for one of the other great masters of Italian opera, Gioachino Rossini. That venture, involving thirteen composers, never eventuated, but when Verdi decided in 1874 to commemorate the death of the poet, Alessandro Manzoni, with a Requiem Mass, he used some of his music from the Rossini project. Manzoni had been a highly influential figure in the risorgimento, the movement that led to the unification of Italy, with Rome as its capital, in 1871. Hans von Bülow, disparagingly described the Requiem as an opera in church vestments, only to repent years later with a fulsome apology to Verdi. Brahms, however, never had any doubts, arguing that only a genius could have written such a work.
Drawing upon all his dramatic and theatrical experience, Verdi explores the depths of the human soul through superb command of orchestration, and sublime vocal writing for the four soloists and choir set to the Latin text of the Requiem Mass. The KPO, conducted by Paul Terracini, will be joined in this concert by stellar soloists from Opera Australia, and the Willoughby Symphony Choir.
Dr Paul Terracini was born in Sydney and has enjoyed a career in Australia and internationally as an instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and conductor. He has held permanent positions as Principal Trumpet in the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra; Lecturer in Trumpet, Brass Ensemble and Big Band at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music; and Solo Trumpet in the Danish Chamber Players, Denmark.
As an instrumentalist, he performed as soloist in Australia, Europe, USA, and Asia. Within Australia, his solo performances included concertos with the Melbourne, Queensland, West Australian, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
Paul Terracini has appeared as an opera conductor at the German Rossini Festival in Bad Wilbad, for the Danish Bel Canto Society in Copenhagen, and the Storstroms Symphony Orchestra, also in Denmark. Since assuming the role of artistic director of the Penrith Symphony Orchestra in 2010, he has, apart from programming and conducting the symphonic repertoire, pioneered the performance of chamber opera in western Sydney. For many years he has been invited as a guest conductor/composer to music schools and universities in Europe, USA, China, and Australia. He appears regularly as conductor for the Conservatorium High School, in Sydney. As a choral conductor, he has recorded for ABC Classics with Ars Nova Copenhagen, and the Sydney based choir, Cantillation.
As a composer and arranger, his music has been heard throughout the world in a variety of genres, performed by, amongst others, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass, the Danish Chamber Players, the Australian Brass Quintet, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brass, and at festivals and conferences on every continent. His music for the two part ABC television series, Hymns of the Forefathers, in which he developed many of the traditional English hymns into symphonic poems, received international acclaim and was released on CD and DVD by ABC Classics. His title music for the television series, Classical Destinations, which was produced for three seasons, was featured on the ‘Number 1 Classical Album of the Year,’ released by Decca.
His new CD, Paul Terracini: Music for Brass, was released on the Tall Poppies label in May 2015. On this recording, he conducted his own music with Sydney Brass, featuring members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Terracini also holds a PhD from the University of Sydney, having earlier completed a Bachelor of Theology and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours). His book, John Stoward Moyes and the Social Gospel, was published in 2015.
Tenor Tomas Dalton completed a Bachelor of Music in voice performance at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and also holds an AMusA in piano. He subsequently undertook further study in Italy as the recipient of the Acclaim Awards Italian Opera Fellowship.
Tomas created the role of Ernest in the world premier of Women In War at Ancient Theatre Ifaistia, Lemnos, Greece. He subsequently reprised the role at the Filippi Festival, Kavala, and at Arts Centre Melbourne. Tomas has also sung the roles of B F Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly (The Classics Stonnington), The Witch in Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel (Victorian Opera), The Villager in Respighi’s The Sleeping Beauty (Victorian Opera), The Notary in Bellini’s La Sonnambula (Victorian Opera) alongside internationally acclaimed Soprano Jessica Pratt, Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Opera Australia, Victorian Schools tour) and an Apprentice in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Opera Australia).
Tomas’s concert repertoire includes Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony IX, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Handel's Solomon. He has toured Australia, Germany, Denmark, and France as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Choir.
In a touring production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class (The King’s Head, London/Andrew Kay & Assoc) Tomas recently played the role of Tony Candolino alongside Helpmann Award winner Amanda Muggleton, making a critically acclaimed Sydney Opera House debut in the process.
Tomas has also been a finalist in several prestigious competitions, including the Opera Foundation for Young Australians: Deutsche Oper Berlin Award, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria, and semi-finalist for the German Australian Opera Grant.