The Stabat Mater closes the XXXVI Rossini Opera Festival

20 August 2015
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On Saturday 22nd August at the Teatro Rossini at 8.30 p.m. the Stabat Mater will be performed, one of the most beloved among Rossini’s works: the cast includes Yolanda Auyanet (making her début in Pesaro), René Barbera (the applauded Giannetto in La gazza ladra) and two such truly loved Rof regulars as Anna Goryachova and Nicola Ulivieri.  Michele Mariotti, the Musical Director of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna, will conduct the Bologna theatre’s chorus and orchestra.  The programme will also include the Dances from Guillaume Tell, a wonderful and rarely performed suite.

As has now happily become traditional, the concert will be video-projected live in Piazza del Popolo, under the aegis of the Pesaro Town Council.  This year’s great novelty, realized thanks to Amat and, yet again, the Pesaro Town Council, is the live transmission of the concert in streaming on the web-site (www.rossinioperafestival.it)  and of the Rossini Opera Festival’s YouTube channel.

Rossini was offered the opportunity of writing the Stabat Mater during a journey in Spain that he had undertaken in 1831 together with a banker friend, the Marquis Alejandro Maria Aguado.  In Madrid he met the Archdeacon of the city, Don Francisco Fernandez de Varela, who insisted that Rossini write a Stabat Mater for him. Rossini returned to Paris and started to compose the work: he completed six sections of it in 1832, while the remaining six numbers were composed by one of his fellow-students in Padre Mattei’s class, Giuseppe Tadolini. The Stabat Mater was performed in this guise  on Good Friday 1833 in the Chapel of San Felipe el Real in Madrid.  In 1841 Rossini took up the score again, revised and completed it, composing four numbers to replace the six written by Tadolini ten years earlier.  The first public performance of the final version took place at the Théâtre-Italien, Paris, on the 7th January 1842.  The work had an extraordinary success.  The first Italian performance, accompanied only by pianoforte and with a reduced chorus (male voices only), was given on the 4th March 1842 in the Church of Sant’Antonio, Milan, followed by a complete, fully orchestral performance in private at the house of the MacDonald family in Florence, on the 14th March.  The work was publicly performed in Bologna in the great hall of the Archiginnasio on the evenings of the 18, 19 and 20 March 1842: Rossini helped personally in its mounting and Gaetano Donizetti was invited to conduct the performances.

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