New York Choral Society (NYCS) will perform Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle in the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on February 25 at 8pm. The esteemed chorus performs under the baton of NYCS Music Director John Daly Goodwin, alongside soprano Joyce El-Khoury, mezzo-soprano Marjorie Dix, tenor Michele Angelini and bass Brian Kontes.
Written during Rossini's retirement in 1863, the sacred composition caused a sensation upon its completion but was debuted to a private audience only. The original arrangement called for four soloists, a chorus of six and was scored for two pianos and a harmonium. Referred to by Napoleon III as neither little, solemn, nor liturgical, the Mass was considered by some to be a creative self-renewal for the venerated composer.
About the Artists
Michele Angelini, tenor, made his European debut in 2006 as Conte di Liebenskoff in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims at the prestigious Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy. In the 2010-2011 season Mr. Angelini will perform the roles of Lindoro in L'italiana in Algieri in Bilbao, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Savonlinna Festival. He will join the New York Choral Society for Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and will return to the Metropolitan Opera for Armida. Mr. Angelini will also make his Opera Colorado debut in La Cenerentola. Future engagements include the role of Conte Liebenskoff in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims at Firenze's Teatro del Maggio Musicale.
Marjorie Dix, mezzo-soprano, is a graduate of Duquesne University and the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. She has performed at the Metropolitan Opera and in opera houses throughout the United States and abroad. Some of her accomplishments include Marie in Wozzeck at Opéra National de Lorraine and Isolde in Tristan und Isolde with Virginia Opera. Ms. Dix has performed works ranging from Bach to Harbison. Marjorie has appeared with major orchestras and chamber ensembles such as the Houston Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble with James Levine.
Joyce El-Khoury, soprano, is currently a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. In the 2010-2011 season Miss El-Khoury returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Frasquita in Carmen, Esmeralda in The Bartered Bride with Maestro James Levine and a collaboration with The Juilliard School, her role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival, and she returns to The New York Choral Society to perform Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle. She ends the season with her Tanglewood Music Festival debut performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Future engagements include her European debut as Violetta in La Traviata with the Welsh National Opera, Violetta with the Knoxville Opera, Musetta for her Canadian Opera Company debut and her debut in concert with the Münchner Philharmoniker.