The University of Arizona School of Music presents a concert featuring the Arizona Choir and Symphonic Choir with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra performing Rossini's "Stabat Mater."

The performance takes place this Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m. in the beautifully restored St. Augustine Cathedral, and is part of the 300th anniversary celebration of Father Kino. The performance is free and open to the public, but an opportunity to donate in support of the UA choral program will be provided, a release said.

Soloists include soprano Jennaya Robison, mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein, tenor Jared Rogers and bass Seth Kershisnick. The Arizona Choir and Symphonic Choir will combine forces creating a chorus of over 80 voices, teamed with the UA Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bruce Chamberlain, director of choral activities at the UA.

"Rossini's famous 'Stabat Mater,' has a gestation story that includes as much intrigue and controversy as many of his opera librettos," Dr. Chamberlain describes. Commissioned in 1831 by the Spanish priest Manuel Varela, Rossini only initially composed six of the 10 movements, leaving the other four to his pupil, Giovanni Tadolini. Part of Varela's commission insisted that the work never be published, thus Rossini would not be exposed for not completing the work himself.

Following Varela's death in 1841, the Parisian publisher, Aulagnier, wrote to Rossini and asked for permission to publish the work.

It is filled with "operatic vocal fireworks and choral master touches," the release said. "Rossini's "Stabat Mater" is in many respects his best opera."

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