Petite Messe Solennelle” by Rossini
Sunday, 15 June 2014, at 5.00pm
St. John’s Church, St. John’s Road, Wynberg
Conducted by Alexander Fokkens
Pianist – Albert Combrink
Organist – Erik Dippennaar
Bass – Martin Mkhize
Tenor – Willem Bester
Mezzo-Soprano – Bongiwe Nakani
Soprano – Nomsa Mpofu
An unusual work for Choir, Soloists, Two Pianos and Harmonium, was first first performed at the dedication (14 March 1864) of the private chapel in the hôtel of Louise, comtesse de Pillet-Will, to whom Rossini dedicated this refined and elegant piece, which avoids the sentimental opulence of most contemporary liturgical works, such as those by Gounod & Co. In the audience at that first performance were such giants as Giacomo Meyerbeer, Daniel Auber and Ambroise Thomas.
The rhythm of the architecture seems to mirror the music we are about to perform.
Bongiwe Nakani is a very gifted young Mezzo-Soprano whose voice has already attracted National and International attention. Winner of the Amazwi Omzansi National Singing Competition instigated by British-Based South African Baritone Njabulo Madlala, she took part in the New York State Glimmerglass Opera Festival 2014. She has also performed in New York to the United Nations General Assembly to honour Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday. Recently she was seen in the groundbreaking Umculo Festival’s “Comfort Ye”.
Nomsa Mpofu is a very promising young soprano who has already been seen in the lead role of Donna Anna in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and will be seen in Rossini’s Il Viaggio A Rheims” in 2014. She is becoming a regular performer on Oratorio and recital. Watch her on Youtube.
Martin Mkhize is currently a student at the UCT Opera School. He has been seen in performance with the Black Tie Ensemble and Gauteng Opera. Listen to Martin on Youtube.
Willem Bester is a well-known tenor in Cape Town. He recently performed in Orff’s “Carmina Burana” Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Willem is also a member of the highly acclaimed early music ensemble The cape Consort. Find his CV HERE.
Erik Dippennaar is an early music Performance Scholar, harpsichordist, organist and accompanist.
Albert Combrink has worked with the Symphony Choir of Cape Town on many occasions, both in rehearsal and performance. Concerts have included “Carmina Burana”, “Sunset Carols at Groot Constantia”.
Some of members of the Berg River Choir attended this performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solenelle” performed by the Symphony Choir of Cape Town. It was part of a collaboration and cultural development program we initiated with different role-players for the Berg River Choir. Read More.