Ana Maria Labin, Soprano
Romanian born soprano Ana Maria Labin was raised in Switzerland. While still a student in Zurich, she won the First Prize at the inaugural Concours Ernst Haefliger and had her debut as Valencienne in Pier Luigi Pizzi’s Die lustige Witwe under the baton of Asher Fish at La Scala di Milano and Opéra Garnier. Ana Maria Labin established herself as an acclaimed Mozart singer as Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Drottningholm Festival, Opéra de Versailles, Mozart Festspiele Würzburg and at the Enescu Festival. She star in Don Giovanni as Donna Anna at Glyndebourne on tour and in Le Nozze di Figaro as Contessa at the Estate Theatre Prague, Opera North and at Oper Köln with Ruben Dobrovsky. Other Mozart roles include Arminda in La Finta giardiniera at the Festival Aix-en-Provence and Celia in Mozart’s Lucio Silla, staged by Günter Krämer at the Mannheimer Mozartsommer under the baton of Dennis Russel Davies/Adam Fischer. In 2019 she made her debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Opernfestspiele St. Margarethen (Austria). Her vast Baroque repertoire includes Armida in Händel’s Rinaldo (Robert Carsen/Glyndebourne OT) under Laurence Cummings, with whom she also performed Brockespassion at the Händelfestspiele Göttingen. She sang Vagaus in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans under Jean-Christophe Spinosi at Théatre Champs Elysées, Manto in Agostino Steffani’s Niobe under Thomas Hengelbrock at the Schwetzingen Festival. At the Festival Baroque de Beaune, she appeared as Romilda in Händel's Xerxes and as Leocasta in Vivaldi’s Giustino with Ottavio Dantone and the Accademia Bizantina, as well as singing Esilena in Händel's Rodrigo under Thibault Noally (Les Accents) and giving a Mozart solo recital with Pianist Antoine Palloc at the Hospices Salle des pauvres. She appeared at the Eisenstadt Haydnfestival in the title role of Haydn’s Armida and Euridice in Orfeo et Euridice under Enrico Onofri and Alessio Pizzech, toured with Mozart's Great c minor Mass as well as singing Ginevra in Händel’s Ariodante with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski, La Baronessa Irene in Haydn’s La vera costanza under Andreas Spering at the Brühler Schlosskonzerte and Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore under Claus Peter Flor with the Orchestra Santa Cecilia in Rome. With Ruben Jais and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi she performed Bach Cantatas, Galatea in Acis and Galatea with Raymond Leppard (English Chamber Orchestra) and has appeared with David Zinman (Tonhalle Orchestra), Alain Altinoglu (Orchestre National de Montpellier), Daniel Kawka (Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI) and at the Festival Les moments Lyriques in Chartres presented by Eve Ruggieri.
Ana Maria Labin’s concert engagements have taken her on tour performing Haydn’s Il ritorno di Tobia, Die Schöpfung and Die Jahreszeiten with the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Philharmonie under Adam Fischer, Haydn’s Scena di Berenice and Beethoven's concert aria “Ah, perfido” with Boston Baroque, Beethoven’s Missa C and Chorfantasie with Phillipe Herrewege (Collegium Vocale Gent), Vivaldi’s motet “In furore iustissimae irae” with the English Concert under Harry Bickett, Pergolesi’s La Maddalena al sepolcro and Stabat Mater at the Festival La Chaise-Dieu under Giulio Prandi (Ghislieri Consort) and Ino in Telemann’s Ino Kantate under Michael Schneider and La Stagione at the Kasseler Musiktage und Magdeburger Telemann Festspiele; a work that she has recently recorded for the Sony label Deutsche harmonia mundi. Other engagements include the Countess Madleine Last Scene from Strauss' Capriccio with Staatskapelle Halle under Arianne Matiakh, Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder at Opera North under Dalia Stasevka, Herrmann’s Aria Salammbo under David Charles Abell with the Orchestre National de Bordeaux, Gala Concerts with Jose Cura (Musikkollegium Winterthur), under Vladimir Jurowski (Glyndebourne Festival), Mozart Arias with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Antonello Manacorda at the Bahrain Opera House, New Years Gala concert tour in Japan with Alexander Joel and the Volksoper Symphony Orchestra Vienna and under Christian Thielemann the Lehar Gala at the Semperoper Dresden, which has been released on CD/DVD with Deutsche Grammophon; Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi) at the Opéra de Toulon; La Clemenza di Tito in Bergen; Mass in C minor in Oslo and at The Hague; Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro in Saint-Jean d'Acre; Semele and Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno at the Baroque Festival in Baune.
Plans include: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Bellezza) in Paris and Moscow with Thibault Noally and Les Accents; Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa), Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi) and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) in Bordeaux, Versailles and Barcelona; Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Wupperthal, Bern and Koeln; Missa Solemnis in Thessaloniki; Mozart's Requiem in The Hague and in Steiernmark.
CATERINA DI TONNO, SOPRANO
Born in Naples but raised in Rome, Caterina Di Tonno began her musical studies at a very young age as a pianist and violinist. Later on, she took up voice studies with Maria Luisa Carboni and graduated from the Conservatorio of Pescara. She perfected her education under the guidance of Shirley Verrett and Alfonso Antoniozzi. The private coaching of Mariella Devia had a profound influence on her technique.
Di Tonno has won prizes at many competitions in Italy (“Di Stefano”, “Bellini”, “Duchi d'Acquaviva”, As.Li.Co. among them). In 2007 she won the “Toti Dal Monte” Competition as Despina in Così fan tutte, launching her operatic career. Thanks to her intuitive sense of theatre, she excels in comedic and brilliant roles, especially those of Mozart. Highlights in recent seasons include the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy produced by Teatro La Fenice in Venice starting from 2011 and frequently revived in the following years, directed by Damiano Michieletto and conducted by Antonello Manacorda, in the three roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Despina in Così fan tutte. With the same creative team, she was Papagena in Die Zauberflöte in 2015. In 2010 she portrayed Giovanna in the TV production of Rigoletto with Placido Domingo conducted by Zubin Mehta. She worked with Mehta again in 2011 as Sacerdotessa in Aida at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Her operatic repertoire includes Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Mantova, 2006), Nannetta in Falstaff (Circuito Lombardo, 2008), Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Napoli, 2008), Berenice in L’occasione fa il ladro (Lugo, 2009), Serpina in La serva padrona (Treviso, 2010), Olimpia in La fuga in maschera by Spontini (Festival Jesi e Napoli, 2012-13), Clorinda in Cenerentola (San Carlo di Napoli, 2014), Valenciennes in La vedova allegra (Cagliari, 2015). Upcoming performances include La grotta di Trofonio by Paisiello at Festival della Valle d’Itria and Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
Her versatility led her often to experiment with-non-strictly classical vocal techniques in projects such as the soundtrack by Carlo Crivelli for the tv movie Virginia la monaca di Monza directed by Alberto Sironi and Gershwin songs with the famous jazz pianist Giorgio Gaslini.
Her extensive baroque, chamber, oratorio and concert experience include Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum (in Naples conducted by Jeffrey Tate and in Milan conducted by Antonello Manacorda), Bach’s Magnificat (MiTo Festival, conducted by Manacorda), Rossini’s Stabat mater (Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra in Beirut), Beethoven’s Egmont (Pomeriggi Musicali),Spohr’s Des Heilands letzte Stunden (Coro e Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma), Mercadante’s Le ultime sette parole (Coro e Orchestra del San Carlo di Napoli) and, in 2016, Mozart’s and Donizetti’s Requiems with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.
Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani, Tenor
Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani was born in Florence, Italy. A violinist for many years from a very young age, his focus shifted to singing shortly thereafter.
His vocal studies began at Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence and after under the guidance of Fernando Cordeiro Opa and Silvia Bossa. His singing debuted occurred at Teatro della Pergola in Florence in 2001 as a soloist in Charpentier’s Te Deum. He has been recognized in numerous competitions, including the 6th Sacred Music International Competition in Rome and at the 39th International Singing Competition Toti Dal Monte in Treviso for the main male role in La Vera Costanza by Haydn.
He subsequently debuted this opera in theaters of Madrid, Treviso, Reggio Emilia and Liège. He has performed many lead roles throughout major international opera houses, including: Mozart’s Così fan tutte- Ferrando, and Don Giovanni-Don Ottavio, and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia- Conte Almaviva, at Teatro La Fenice, Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi-Romeo (tenor version) at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Mozart’s Betulia Liberata Ozìa, under Riccardo Muti at the Salzburg Festival and the Ravenna Festival, Mercadante’s I Due Figaro- Il Conte Almaviva and Torribio, under Riccardo Muti at the Teatro Real de Madrid, the Salzburg Festival, the Ravenna Festival and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Lehar’s Die lustige Witwe-Camille de Rossillon, at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona and at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Handel’s Alcina-Oronte, in the Opéra des Nations in Geneva, Die Zauberflöte- Tamino, in the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège and at Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Verdi in Salerno; Handel’s Giove in Argo, title role, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna; Donizetti’s Don Pasquale- Ernesto, at La Monnaie in Bruxelles, Gluck’s Alceste- Evandro, for Ruhrtriennale with René Jacobs, Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Lausanne in a new production of Robert Carsen, Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio segreto, Paolino, in Nancy, Opéra National Lorraine, Mozart’s Così fan Tutte- Ferrando, in Drottningholm, Versailles and Bucarest with Mark Minkowski and in Lille with Emmanuele Haim, Mozart’s Don Giovanni-Don Ottavio, at the Opéra de Lausanne, in La Fenice and at the Opera of Roma, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria-Telemaco and Giove, in european tour with René Jacobs, Falstaff in Chicago with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, Handel’s Alcina- Oronte, in Montecarlo, Toulouse, Versailles with Philippe Jaroussky and Ottavio Dantone and in Geneva and Glyndebourne Festival, Lucrezia Borgia-Gennaro, in Sankt Gallen staged by Tobias Kratzer, Gluck’s Le cinesi at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia with Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante, Don Pasquale- Ernesto, in Bruxelles, La Monnaie and in la Maestranza in Sevilla, Mozart’s Idomeneo- Idamante, at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Bach’s Matthew’s Passion (Evangelist) with Marc Minkowski in European tour, Il flauto magico in Salerno, Les Indes galantes and Les Huguenots in Geneva, Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Monteverdi’s Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria-Telemaco, at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, staged by Robert Carsen.
He worked with important conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Michele Mariotti, Alessandro De Marchi, Paolo Arrivabeni, Marc Minkowski, Emmanuelle Haim, Alain Altinoglu, Ivor Bolton, Pietro Rizzo, Hubert Soudant, Jeffrey Tate, Stefano Montanari, Ottavio Dantone, René Jacobs, Leonardo Garcia Alarcòn, Antonello Manacorda, Jesùs Lopez Cobos, Fabrizio Maria Carminati and stage directors such as Robert Carsen, Damiano Michieletto, Laurent Pelly, Emilio Sagi, Gabriele Lavia, Arnaud Bernard, Tobias Kratzer, David Bösch.
Has has recorded for: Deutsche Grammophon (Haendel’s Ezio, conducted by Alan Curtis), Emi Virgin (Haendel’s Berenice, Giove in Argo and Ariodante, conducted by Alan Curtis), Glossa (Monteverdi’s Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria, title role, conducted by Claudio Cavina and Caldara’s Morte e sepoltura di Cristo conducted by Fabio Biondi), Bongiovanni (Moneta’s Il conte Policronio), Hyperion (Cesti’s Le disgrazie d’amore), Ducale music (Mercadante’s I due Figaro, conducted by Riccardo Muti), Naxos (Morlacchi’s Tebaldo e Isolina, conducted by Antonino Fogliani), Dynamic (Hasse’s Artaserse).
Cesar Naassy - Bass-Baritone
Known for his striking stage presence and deep warm voice, Cesar finds himself particularly well in the works of Mozart. His notable vocal agility and cantabile voice, also allowed him to tackle the Belcanto repertoire of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Some of the roles he performed on stage include Raimondo in “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Dulcamara in “Elisir d'amore", Don Alfonso in “Così fan tutte”, Bartolo in “Le nozze di Figaro, Sarastro in “Die Zauberflöte”, The king of Scotland in “Ariodante” and Superintendent Bud in “Albert Herring” to name a few…
Since the start of his singing career, he has performed on the international stage in renowned theatres, such as "Teatro San Carlo" in Naples, "Teatro Pergolesi" in Jesi, “Teatro Flavio Vespasiano” in Rieti, “Auditorium della Concigliazione” in Rome, all the way to “Théatre de l'Opéra de Montreal” in Montreal and “Théatre Monument National”.
He has had the privilege to work with world-renowned directors such as Charles Binamé, and has studied with international artists such as Caterina Ditonno. He also holds two Masters degrees in Music, one of which is from the prestigious McGill University in Montreal.
Cesar has been under the tutelage of maestro Toufic Maatouk since the beginning of his singing career in 2015.
Toufic Maatouk, Conductor
Toufic Maatouk, is one of the most compelling conductors of his generation. In the 2012 season, Maatouk began his tenure as Artistic Director of Beirut Chants Festival in Lebanon. He is also Guest Conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013 and a Guest Conductor of the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra Orchestra since 2017. Maatouk was appointed Artistic Director and Choir Master of the Antonine University Choir, in August 2005 and Head of the vocal department in the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music since October 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Istituto Pontificio di Musica Sacra (Pims) in Rome where he conducted and published different studies on the syro-maronite chants. He has been honoured as a knight of the Order of the Star of Italy “Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia” by the President of the Italian Republic in 2021.
As chief conductor, Toufic Maatouk has led the Antonine University choir for more than 14 years. He collaborated with several orchestras and festivals including Orchestra di San Carlo (Napoli), Orchestra Giovanile Mediterranea (Palermo), Orchestra Roma sinfonietta (Rome), New England symphonic ensemble (New York), Orchestra Los Angeles sinfonietta (Los Angeles), Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Kiev symphony orchestra (Ukraine)…Al-Bustan International Festival, Baalbeck International Festival, Byblos International Festival (Lebanon), Festival d’ile de France (Paris), Carnegie hall (New York), Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Roma), Teatro di San Carlo (Napoli), Académie de l'Opéra de Paris, Festival d’Aix en provence (France), Romanian Radio (Bucharest), Al-Ain International music festival (UEA), Bahrain International Music Festival (Bahrain). He has been invited as a jury member to several prestigious competition as the Ottavio Ziino competition, Voce Verdiane international competition, and the Biennale des cordes.
While he pursued his studies, Maatouk worked as a vocal coach and at the National Conservatory of Beirut (Lebanon), he was musical assistant conductor at Teatro di San Carlo (Napoli) for different productions. As Founder of the Opera Studio of the Antonine University and the Lebanese National Conservatory, he conducted different productions such as Donizetti’s Elisir d’amore, Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte.
He collaborates with different Orchestras such as the: Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra (Lebanon), Orchestra di San Carlo (Napoli), Orchestra Giovanile Mediterranea (Palermo), Orchestra Roma sinfonietta (Rome), New England symphonic ensemble (New York), Orchestra Los Angeles sinfonietta (Los Angeles), Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Kiev symphony orchestra (Ukraine), Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra (Bucharest)… He collaborated with different world-renowned artists such: Maria Agresta, Jessica Pratt, Joyce El Khoury, Daniela Barcellona, Carmen Giannatasio, Laura Giordano, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Paolo Fanale, Giorgio Berrugi, Krzysztof Baczyk, Mirco Palazzi, Seong-Jin Cho, Dmitry Masleev, Eric Le Sage, Xavier De Maistres, Faycal Karaoui, Gabriele Ferro, Francesca Dego, Modigliani Quartet, Kodaly Quartet, Boris Andrianov, Alexander Ghindin, Caterina Di Tonno, Rosa Bove, Leonardo Cortellazzi, and others…
Maatouk published his different articles and books with Geuthner’s edition in Paris (France) and in international musicology journals. He recorded 13 CD with the Antonine University chorus.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Mass in C minor (K. 427) stands alongside the Requiem (K. 626) as his most remarkable church composition. Today it enjoys almost cult status, first because of its monumentality, which is unique in Mozart’s sacred vocal music, and second because, like the Requiem, it partakes of the aura of the unfinished and mysterious. The exact circumstances that gave rise to it as a votive mass have eluded explanation to the present day. The same applies to the reasons why it was left unfinished and to many details of its first performance, which, as far as we know, took place at St. Peter’s Church, Salzburg, on October 26, 1783. Finally, the transmission of the original sources also raises many questions. Indeed, it is astonishing that the Mass, although left as a torso, was performed at all during Mozart’s final visit to Salzburg.
The mention of the Mass in this context makes clear that the work did not, as is occasionally presumed, owe its existence to an external incentive, such as the 1,200th anniversary of the Bishopric of Salzburg, officially celebrated in 1782.
By all appearances, his wife, Constanze’s, participation was an indispensable part of Mozart’s vow, and in fact this may have been one reason that the first performance of the Mass took place at St. Peter’s, rather than the Salzburg Cathedral, since in the eighteenth century, women were still not allowed to partake in musical performances for church worship. Indeed, the delicate and deeply moving soprano solos of the “Christe eleison” in the “Kyrie” and, perhaps most famously, the “Et incarnatus est” in the “Credo” (called “matchless” by Pope Francis, who proclaimed in an August 2013 interview in an August 2013 interview that the aria “lifts you to God!”) are widely considered as love offerings by the composer to his soprano wife.
Just as we must forever wonder about the voice that inspired Mozart to write such sublime music, we must also forever wonder how Mozart would have completed the Mass, for the work has come down to us in fragments. Moreover, not only were some sections of the Ordinary Mass left unset, with others only left in advanced drafts, even some of the sections that Mozart finished have come down to us incomplete.
Barenreiter, working together with the International Mozarteun Foundation in Salzburg has published a new edition of this work, reflecting the cutting edge of scholarship while doing justice to the needs of performers. This new edition completes and reconstructs movements according to high scholarly standards in order to come as close as possible to the work itself:
- The “Kyrie” and “Gloria,” both of which survive complete in Mozart’s hand, are presented in a scholarly-critical Urtext edition.
- The first two sections of the “Credo” have been meticulously completed by the editor, Ulrich Leisinger drawing on original Mozart compositions, e.g. the aria “Deh vieni non tardar” from The Marriage of Figaro and paying attention to a stylistically appropriate and transparent sound.
- The “Sanctus” and “Benedictus” (with the “Hosanna”), which are either incomplete or survive only in secondary sources, have been reconstructed by the editor.
Reconstructed and added parts are rendered in small print. Sections without any known sources are left out in this edition. Rounding off the publication are an extensive Foreword (Ger/Eng) and a detailed Critical Commentary (Eng).
The premiere of Ulrich Leisinger’s new edition was given in April 2019 in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg by the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra and the ChorWerk Ruhr under the baton of Kent Nagano. The first Austrian performance took place in Salzburg in August 2019 in the Great Hall of the Mozarteum, with Andrew Manze conducting the Salzburg Camerata to rousing applause from audience and critics alike. This version will be played in Beirut Chants on December 17.
*The text is taken from Sheet Music Plus “Revisiting Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor”
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