Ireland's Lismore Opera Festival Features Anthony Kearns in Rossini Masterpiece


World-renowned tenor Anthony Kearns was featured in a special presentation of Gioachino Rossini's masterpiece, Petite Messe Solennelle, at the St. Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore, Ireland on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Kearns' performance was his second with the Lismore Opera Festival.

Petite Messe Solennelle is a very late work by the French composer combining spiritual themes with sweeping romanticism. Rossini wrote the piece during his Indian summer of composition in 1863 although this final version was not heard in public until 1869.

"After his triumphal success as 'Don Ottavio' in last year's production of Don Giovanni, Anthony Kearns returns to Lismore to sing the tenor solo in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, following in the footsteps of the great Luciano Pavarotti," said Jennifer O'Connell, Lismore Music Festival founder and director. Pavarotti recorded the piece – Rossini's last major work – in 1997 with the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra.

"I love this piece for its simplicity and elegance," said Mr. Kearns, referencing the four-voice collaboration that showcases the perfect combination of voice types. "And the small cathedral where we'll be performing is sublime – both intimate and yet magnificent, the way Rossini intended."

Kearns has been critically praised for his vocal abilities and effortless range. Operatic roles to his credit include "Fenton" in Falstaff, "Rinuccio" in Gianni Schicci, "Edgardo di Ravenswood" in Lucia di Lammermoor, as "Romeo" in the Opera Naples (FL) rendition of Romeo and Juliet: Then and Now, as lead tenor in Faust, and Carmen's Don Jose. Kearns' other opera credits include performing as "Alfred" in Die Fledermaus with the Emerald City Opera; as the lead tenor in the Royal Dublin's Society performance of The Lily of Killarney (part of "The Irish Ring" trilogy); and others.