Robert Butts

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Maestro Introduces Opera Composer to America

Maestro Robert W. Butts will introduce the opera compositions of famed Vatican composer Marco Frisina to American audiences on Sunday December 4 at 7:00 PM at The National Opera Center, Opera America, 330 Seventh Ave, New York City.

Selections from Monsignor Frisina's moving dramatization of Dante's La Divina Commedia - L’uomo che cerca l’Amore will be heard in the United States for the first time.  The opera was first performed in Rome in 2007 and has since received several European performances.

There is a lot of music in ‘The Divine Comedyalready,” said Monsignor Frisina, who has been director of the Musical Chapel of the Basilica of St. John Lateran here since 1985. “Dante wrote it in canticas and cantos. There’s rhythm, a lot of passion. It is the perfect text for a musical work.

Marco Frisina is also founder and Director of the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, a 300 voice group that often animates liturgies with the Holy Father, and a sought-after composer and biblical scholar.

Also on the program will be the world premiere performances of two arias from Monsignor Frisina's La Passione di Cristo.   The two arias are: “He Never Spoke a Word to Me” - aria del Cireneo (Based on poem text by Countee Cullen) and Aria del Longino (in Spanish, based on text of Miguel de Unamuno)

Special guest soloist is Metropolitan Opera Chorus Tenor Gary Pate.

Performers include Timothy Maureen Cole, Sara McCabe, and Kevin Peters.  

The Chorus:
Allyson Carvajal,Luisa Fernanda Munster, Jamie Klenetsky Fay,Tess Giardino, Mariana Santiago, Frank Dreher, Michael McCormick, Matthew Dreher, Devin McGuire, Alan Smulen
Ensemble: Leslie Pruess - flute; Peggy Wiltrout - oboe; James Celestino - cello; Rob Keiser - piano
Presenter: Lee Doswell, President and Executive Director of Music for Faith, Inc.
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"It is a great honor for me" Maestro Butts states "to be able to conduct this great music and perform it for the first time in America - especially so with the composer there with us."