Repertory Singers open season with Mozart Mass


CORVALLIS - The Corvallis Repertory Singers open their fourth season Saturday, Oct. 11, with the "Great Mass in C minor" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1165 N.W. Monroe in Corvallis.

Corvallis Repertory Singers is a professional level performance ensemble sponsored by Oregon State University and directed by Steven M. Zielke, who is director of choral studies at OSU. Most of the singers in this mixed chorus are residents of Corvallis and Albany, with a few commuting from Salem, Lebanon, and Portland. Soloists for this performance will be Camelia Nine, soprano; Gale Hazel, mezzo-soprano; Tom Burt, tenor; and Peter Butler, baritone.

The challenging C minor Mass is not often performed, Zielke said. The work, which Mozart never finished, is richly orchestrated and requires supple voices in eight-part choir and virtuoso soprano soloists. It was begun at a time when Mozart was able to hear some of the great choral works of Bach and Handel.

"The more you study it, the more layers of subtlety you find," Zielke said.

There have been attempts to finish the mass by reusing movements from Mozart's other masses, and that is how it is often performed. However, Zielke says he prefers to perform it only as originally composed.

"The influences of the B minor Mass and the Messiah are evident," he said. "To insert into it music which lacks this connection would be tragic."

Tickets for individual performances are $12 for adults or $4 for students, and are available at Scandinavian Trading Company, Grass Roots Books, and Beard Frame Shop in Corvallis; and Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany. Season tickets are available at $30 for adults, $8 for students, and cover this concert as well as performances in May and February.