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Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Wiesbaden

On August 9, Angela Brower sings the mezzo-soprano solo in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle. This 1863 mass was written after Rossini had retired from composing operas more than 30 years before.

Two versions exist of this piece: the first score features twelve singers, four of them soloists, two pianos and harmonium; the alternate version, which Rossini wrote at a later date, uses a full orchestra and includes an additional movement, a setting of the hymn “O salutaris hostia” as a soprano aria. This version of the mass was not performed during his lifetime because he could not obtain permission to perform it with female singers in a church. It was first performed three months after his death.

Ms. Brower will perform the first iteration of the score at the Ringkirche Wiesbaden, with soprano Christiane Karg, tenor Siyabonga Maqungo, bass Gyula Orendt, and conductor Rolf Beck on the podium. At the piano are Ulrike Payer and Maros Klatik, and Michael Meyer plays harmonium. The chorus is the Internationale Chorakademie Lübeck.