The annual Spring Concert of the Pass Chorale community chorus and orchestra will feature opera composer, Giacomo Puccini. But they won’t be presenting an opera. Instead, they will present the Messa di Gloria, a mass for chorus, tenor and baritone soloists, and orchestra that Puccini wrote as a school assignment at the age of 18. It may be a mass, but it is still Puccini. There are many foretastes of the grand opera themes that would characterize his later work.
Soloists are Jonathan Frias and Rohnert Pasqual, tenors, and Ulises Espinoza, baritone. All are from the voice and opera programs at California State University, San Bernardino. Stacy Fraser, head of the opera program, may even sing a Puccini aria.
This mass is an amazing and exciting composition and not often performed because it requires a fairly large orchestra. The Pass Chorale will take it on, but there may be more in the orchestra than in the chorus!
The second part of the program will be songs of America. A salute to America’s first people includes a Serrano Lullaby. A Festival of Freedom by Emily Crocker and Paul Lavender salutes the immigrants and features several of our folk songs. And any Americana program must include the music of George M. Cohan!
It promises to be a great program, come celebrate Puccini and America with us!
The concert will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2012, 2:30 pm at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1320 W. Williams St. in Banning. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.