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Spring Concert - Sunday, 12th May 2019
Petite Messe Solennelle, Gioachino Rossini
Messa di Gloria, Giacomo Puccini
Review by Sasha Alexander

The Rosenethe Singers have never been known to shy away from a challenge, and on Sunday evening, under their Director, Kevin Duggan, they presented a demanding programme of religious works by two great Italian operatic composers, Rossini and Puccini, accompanied by Ingrid Sawers, piano, and Robin Bell, harmonium.

Gioachino Rossini (1792 - 1868)

Petite Messe Solennelle

Rosenethe Singers have worked hard on diction and dynamics, as was shown in the crystal-clear attack and long legato lines in the opening Kyrie of the Petite Messe Solennelle. Rossini was unable to remain solemn for very long and there were plenty of passages for Rosenethe to display agility and neat rhythms, especially in the glorious Cum Sancto Spiritum fugue. Ursula Bambuch, soprano, and the trio of young soloists from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: Lauren Young, alto; Robin Horgan, tenor; and Jolyon Loy, bass; coped with the technical demands of the music. Alto, Lauren Young was outstanding for her attention to the text, interpreting the meaning of the words with beautiful tone. Tenor, Robin Horgan projected well and, although the voice tightened under stress, he sang with conviction.

The closing Agnus Dei was a highlight of the evening.

Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)

Messa di Gloria

Puccini was destined to follow the family tradition as a church musician, but after attending a performance of Verdi’s opera Aida, he knew he wanted to write works for the stage.

The Gloria is a tour de force of joyful melodies, full of rhythmic energy and contrasts which the Singers sang beautifully, with light bright tone and a good balance. The long Credo is full of emotion and here the Singers sang with expression and varied tone.

The bass and tenor soloists sang well but possibly their performances would benefit from more connection to the Latin text.


We were fortunate in having two such outstanding musicians as Ingrid Sawers and Robin Bell accompany the Mass, Rossini, on piano and harmonium, playing with complete conviction and total mastery.

Pianist, Ingrid Sawers was a tower of strength throughout the Messa, Puccini, supporting the singers with sensitivity and strength.


Conductor, Kevin Duggan, continues to refine and improve the level of performance given by the Rosenethe Singers and we look forward to their next concert on Sunday, 24th November which will include works by JS Bach and Frank Martin.

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