Ahead of his return to Opera Holland Park as Canio in Pagliacci, tenor David Butt Philip joins baritone Ross Ramgobin, conductor John Andrews, the Opera Holland Park chorus and City of London Sinfonia in a special performance of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.
The concert will take place in the glorious surrounding of Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square, on 22 February 2024 and launches an exciting series of events by Opera Holland Park to mark the centenary of Puccini’s death, including a revival of Stephen Barlow’s sensational 2008 staging of Tosca, and three semi-staged performances of Puccini’s early romance, Edgar.
Scored for tenor and baritone soloists, choir and orchestra, the Messa di Gloria blends the solemnity of the Italian choral tradition with expressive melodies and motifs that would later reappear in operas from Edgar and Le Villi to Manon Lescaut and Suor Angelica.
Six years after the first performance of Verdi’s Messa da requiem in Milan, Puccini, the young composer who would soon be hailed as Verdi’s natural successor, completed a setting of the Mass that melded his heritage as the scion of generations of professional church musicians with the first flourishing of his instincts for sung drama
The evening will open with a selection of music from throughout Puccini’s life, including rare and well-known arias from Opera Holland Park’s principal singers, and the composer’s only string quartet, Crisantemi.
Continuing the company’s mission to increase its performances throughout the calendar year, this is a rare opportunity to hear Puccini’s first major work in the context of his later creations, and in the sublime setting and soaring acoustics of Holy Trinity, Sloane Square.