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Release: Nov. 10, 1999

Kantorei, UI Chamber Orchestra, faculty soloists to perform Haydn Mass

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kantorei and the University of Iowa Chamber Orchestra will present the last completed major work of composer Franz Joseph Haydn, the Mass in B-flat major, under the direction of conductor Timothy Stalter in a free performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The performance will feature four soloists from the School of Music faculty: soprano
Rachel Joselson, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Eberle, tenor Matt Castle and bass John Muriello.

The performance will be the first choral-orchestra concert directed by Stalter, who joined the School of Music faculty as director of choral activities in August.

Completed in 1802, Haydn's Mass in B-flat is known as the "Harmoniemesse" (Wind-band Mass) for the prominent use of wind instruments in the orchestral scoring. After a lifetime of service to the aristocratic Esterhazy family, Haydn began serving Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy in 1794. In consideration of his many years of service he was kept on as Kapellmeister (chapel master, or music director) to the prince, but his only official duty was to compose a setting of the Mass for orchestra and chorus every year in celebration of the name day in September of Nicolaus' wife. Missing only one year, Haydn fulfilled this duty, composing six masses from 1996-1802.

Haydn was nearing 80 when he began the "Harmoniemesse" in October 1801. His age and poor health required that he work slowly, and he eventually completed the Mass in the summer of 1802. In spite of his laboring over this Mass, it is his longest and most extensive setting of the Mass text.

Kantorei is the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music. It is a touring ensemble limited to approximately 30 singers, most of whom are graduate students. Kantorei presents four or five concerts on campus each year, tours to off-campus performances and participates in major choral works with the University Symphony. Past tours have been international, including performances in Russia, Korea and Spain.

Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral activities in August. He directs Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music, teaches graduate conducting courses, and administers the graduate program in choral conducting. He has research interests in teaching conducting to undergraduate students and historical musical performance. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, he frequently presents clinics and workshops in choral conducting around the United States.

In addition to conducting and teaching choral music, Stalter is active as a tenor soloist in the United States and abroad. A specialist in the music of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, he is known for his performances as the evangelist in the "Passions" of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schuetz. He has appeared as tenor soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber Choir in Atlanta, the Classical Music Seminar and Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. He has recorded as tenor soloist with conductor Robert Shaw on two compact discs released on the Telarc label.

Before joining the School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997, Joselson spent more than 10 years in Europe performing operatic roles in guest appearances and engagements at theaters in Darmstadt, Hamburg, Essen and Basel. She has performed many of the major soprano roles in the repertoire, including Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio," Mimi in Puccini's "La Boheme," Micaela in Bizet's "Carmen," Melisande in Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande," Donna Elvira in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and Eva in Wagner's "Meistersingers of Nuremberg." She has also performed as guest soloist with opera companies and orchestras in Europe and the United States. For the 1995-96 season, she had her first engagement at the Metropolitan Opera.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Eberle has performed internationally in opera, concert and solo recitals. She has performed with the opera theater of Lille, France, the Academy of the West, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Aspen Festival Opera Theatre, the American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Her solo compact disc of songs of women composers, "From a Woman's Perspective," has been issued by Albany Records on the Vienna Modern Masters Label. She was also soloist on a CD of the Mozart "Requiem" released by the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

An accomplished singer, writer and teacher, Castle is serving as visiting coach-accompanist for the UI Opera Theater. His singing roles in opera and musical comedy have included Henrik Egerman in "A Little Night Music," Nemorino in "The Elixir Of Love," Edvard Grieg in "Song Of Norway," Archibald Craven in "The Secret Garden," Marco Palmieri in "The Gondoliers" and Rooster in "Annie," as well as dozens of cabaret and dinner theater appearances. As an accompanist, Castle has played in hundreds of recitals and theatrical productions. He also has extensive experience as a musical director.

A singer whose work ranges from opera and operetta to concert and musical theater, Muriello joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997. His most recent engagements include performances as the Narrator and Mysterious Man in Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and Marcello in "La Boheme" for Lyric Opera Cleveland. He has performed operatic and musical theater roles with Opera Carolina, the Banff Centre in Canada, L'Opera Francais of New York, Skylight Opera Theater, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Ohio Light Opera, Seaside Music Theater and the Southeastern Savoyards of Atlanta. His roles have ranged from Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" to Voltaire in Bernstein's "Candide."

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