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.
Distinguished Italian maestro Marco Zambelli conducts the masterpiece for the Lismore Music Festival. The performance will feature members of the Carlow Choral Society & Dun Laoghaire Choral Society, with pianist David Adams.
In addition to Kearns, the other featured soloists include: Sandra Oman, an Irish soprano and 2004 recipient of the Margaret Burke Sheridan Memorial Award for her contribution to opera in Ireland; John Molloy, a major scholar of the Peter Moores Foundation from 2004-2006 who has worked with many top opera companies in Europe; and Maire Flavin, a mezzo-soprano who represented Ireland at Cardiff Singer of the World in 2011.
Kearns took the American television audience by storm in 1999 as the youngest member of The Irish Tenors with whom he has 10 CDs. American critics hailed Kearns as perhaps the most likely of the three (Irish Tenors) to "achieve the level of tenor super stardom now enjoyed by Pavarotti and a handful of other singers." Acknowledged as Ireland's Finest Tenor at the Dublin National Concert Hall's Silver Jubilee in 2006, Mr. Kearns is a respected ambassador of Ireland to the world and has presented the music of his homeland across the globe. He frequently performs at charity concerts, on television, and with the finest symphony orchestras and opera houses in Europe and America. He is a member of the GRAMMYs (The Recording Academy).
For ticket details, visit www.lismoremusicfestival.com.
Photo credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy