ROSSINI: PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE
With guest conductor Emerson Eads
Petite Messe Solennelle
with Emerson Eads, guest conductor
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Saint Mary’s College
South Bend, Indiana
Italian composer Gioachino Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle was written in 1863. The composer, who had retired from composing operas more than 30 years before, described it as “the last of my péchés de vieillesse” (sins of old age). In spite of the use of the word “petite” in the title, this is a major extended work in the missa solemnis tradition, for chorus, two pianos, and harmonium. Alaskan conductor Emerson Eads is a doctoral student in Choral Conducting in the Program in Sacred Music at the University of Notre Dame.
Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Et in terra pax
Gratias agimus tibi
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Cum Sancto Spiritu
Credo in unum Deum
O salutaris – Hostia
Alaskan composer and conductor, Emerson Eads, studies conducting at the University of Notre Dame with Professor Carmen-Helena Téllez. He also studied with Peabody’s Markand Thakar, and conducted the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. He has conducted the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ premiere percussion ensemble, 64.8 featuring percussionists Bob Becker and Anders Astrand in several performances of Varèse’ Ionisation.
A student of John Luther Adams, Eads is composing his second commissioned opera, with librettist Dave Hunsaker, in a new opera, The Princess Sophia, for the centenary remembrance of the Sophia’s sinking in 1918. The opera is scheduled to be premiered in the fall of 2018.
Summer of 2017 featured the release of Eads’ first album, Mass for the Oppressed, which featured his arrangement of the spiritual, He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, his own setting of the De Profundis, and the title work, featuring internationally acclaimed soloists, Tess Altiveros, Toby Newman, Barry Banks, David Miller, and Jaunelle Celaire. The live concert recording was produced by Grammy-winning Five Four Productions.
His song cycle, Robinsonade with poetry written by Patrick Milian, premiered in the fall of 2017 by internationally acclaimed lyric tenor, Barry Banks, for whom it was composed.
Opera Fairbanks commissioned Eads to write, Homeland, a cantata for orchestra, mixed choir, and soloists for the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Alaska’s Statehood with Vivica Genaux, conducted by Gregory Buchalter. His compositions have been performed at the National Saxophone Conference, by Dr Jun Watabe, also by the BBC brass, University of Iceland Reykjavik’s Choir, the University of Alaska’s Choir of the North, and by the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra.
Eads’ Song of the Sikuliaq, a song for mezzo-soprano and orchestra commissioned for the dedication of the newly built Research Vessel Sikuliaq, was debuted in the Fall of 2012 with mezzo-soprano, Marlene Bateman, and the Arctic Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Eduard Zilberkant.
In March of 2014, Opera Fairbanks commissioned him to write The Color of Gold, his first opera, with a libretto by Cassandra Tilly. He conducted the premiere to a rave review in Opera magazine. Music critic Mike Dunham declared it one of the musical high points of 2014 in the Alaska Dispatch News.
Starting in 2012 he was hired as the chorus master for the Fairbanks Symphony Chorus. In the fall of 2014 he became the founding director the Fairbanks Symphony Children’s Chorus, and served as chorus master for numerous Opera Fairbanks productions.
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