Sunday 29 August, 3:00pm
Paul Terracini: Conductor
Jennifer Black: soprano
Grace Chanyang Choi: mezzo-soprano
Simon Kim: tenor
Richard Anderson: bass
Willoughby Symphony Choir
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.