Even bigger and better, the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale this weekend returns to a tradition started in 2004. It will perform a reconstructed version of Mozart’s monumental Great Mass in C minor at the Shaghoian Hall.
Mozart left his Mass unfinished, and there are two completions circulated around the world today, says conductor Anna Hamre. The chorus in 2004 performed the U.S. premiere of Philip Wilby’s completed version, with the British composer attending the concert at Fresno State’s Concert Hall.
“Philip cannot come to this performance, but he is sending greetings via a video,” Hamre says.
He’s remained a friend of the chorus through the years and “played organ for us when we went to England to perform at Minster Cathedral (in York) three years ago.”
Mozart probably wrote this work with the intentions that his wife, Costanza, would sing the soprano solo and likely her sister would sing the other soprano solo part, according to Hamre. “Lindsay Ohse, who was truly spectacular in the Messiah last November, will sing Costanza’s part. After some research, we found another singer, on the recommendation of Lindsay, who we think will match Lindsay: Sarah Larsen.”
Singing the tenor solo is Jonathan Smucker, and the bass soloist is Joshua Zink, who performed in the “Alzheimer’s Stories” concert in March.
The ensemble will be massive, with 182 choristers and 33 instrumentalists performing. “We continue to grow in size and quality, and I think we will peak on this concert,” Hamre says.
The concert kicks off the Master Chorale’s 60th anniversary blockbuster season, which includes two performances with the Fresno Philharmonic and a celebratory event March 6. Two members who were part of the initial season still sing with the group: John Donaldson and Laverne Cottet.
Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale
- 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15
- Shaghoian Hall, 2770 E. International Ave.
- www.fresnocommunitychorus.org, 559-709-6245