Nigel Perrin conductor Marcus Sealy piano Mark Wood harmonium
Johanna Harrison soprano Cassandra Dalby mezzo-soprano Chris Why tenor Samuel Oram baritone
Saturday 26 March 2022 7.30pm St Mary & St Nicholas, Wilton To kickstart our 75th anniversary programme in 2022, we are bringing to life a lesser-known choral masterpiece: Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. This mass is neither little nor solemn as its name suggests, but rather 90 minutes of flamboyant joy in Rossini’s inimitable operatic style, including two extended fugues which surge forward with unstoppable energy, spirit and vitality. Rossini’s notes in the original score specified that there should be 12 singers of three sexes to perform it: ‘men, women and castrati.’ He later scored the mass for full orchestra but always preferred it as we will perform it, with the more intimate accompaniment of solo piano and harmonium. We have chosen the appropriately Italianate Romanesque basilica of St Mary & St Nicholas in Wilton, near Salisbury, for the performance – an irresistible setting for this stupendous piece of melody-making.
This performance will run to approximately 90 minutes, with no interval.
Tickets £22 & £17 unreserved within four sections of the church. bathboxoffice.org.uk 01225 463 362
Simon McEnery director John Cuthbert piano plus a small orchestral ensemble
Salisbury Chamber Chorus is going back to its roots this spring, with another evening dedicated to a single operatic composer. This time it’s Puccini, and those of you with long memories might recall we did something similar ten years ago. Since then, we’ve tackled Wagner and Verdi as well as sidesteps into Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich and Mussorgsky, but now we return to one of the absolute greats of Italian opera.
We’re planning to highlight choruses and ensembles from La Bohème, Turandot, Madam Butterfly and Tosca, as well as less well-known pieces from Manon Lescaut, Edgar and La Fanciulla del West. Of all the operatic greats, Puccini touches us emotionally more than any other. And musically he bridges the romanticism of the 19th century with the beginnings of modernism of the 20th. Maybe that’s why he still has such universal appeal; certainly, we think you’ll love it as much as we do.
We’re also bringing in a small ensemble of orchestral players – a few string, wind and brass players, and a bit of percussion too, we hope – to add to the colour, alongside John Cuthbert at the piano and Simon McEnery directing.
Sunday 3 April, 6.00 pm St Mary and St Nicholas’ Church, Wilton
Tickets £15 from eventbrite.co.uk (search for “Salisbury Chamber Chorus”) or on the door