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The Dream of Gerontius

Monday 27th April, 2020

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The Guiness Choir
Carolyn Holt, Mezzo Soprano 
Dean Power, Tenor 
Leon Košavić, Baritone 

The Dream of Gerontius’ by Edward Elgar

The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38, is a work for three soloists, orchestra and chorus, in two parts composed by Edward Elgar in 1900, to text from the poem by John Henry Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man's soul from his deathbed, transitioning via Angels, Demons and through Purgatory before his final judgment before God. 

The piece is widely regarded as Elgar's finest choral work, and some consider it his masterpiece. This majesterial work calls for a large orchestra of typical late Romantic proportions. Of it Elgar said “This is the best of me”.

An orchestra of over 60 musicians allows Elgar to produce huge sweeping passages drawing you in to the great challenge of the story. Highly contemplative, sensitive passages move to most dramatic spectacular explosions of sound bringing the listener from earthly existence to infinite celestial glory.

Our soloists are Carolyn Holt, Mezzo Soprano; Dean Power, Tenor; Leon Košavić, Baritone

Carolyn Holt, recently graduated of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s international opera,  having previously graduated in 2017 with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. She won the Dermot Troy Prize for the best Irish singer in the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and recently sang the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking in Glasgow to great critical acclaim. 

Carolyn has appeared in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Weill’s Street Scene both at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; as well as Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Puccini's Suor Angelica, Cilea's L'Arlesiana and in Die Zauberflöte.

Carolyn also performs contemporary music and in Autumn 2019 sang the role of The Witch of Youghal in the world premiere of Raymond Deane’s Vagabones for Opera Collective Ireland which toured Ireland. Other contemporary roles include Minskwoman in Jonathan Dove’s Flight, the premiere of The Art of Chaos in Dublin and the premiere of the award winning opera The Second Violinist by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh.

In 2018 she toured Ireland singing Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Esker Festival Orchestra and was the soloist in Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Lambeth Orchestra. 

Dean is currently a member of the ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper, where in 2017 he was awarded the Festspielpreis by the Friends and Sponsors of the Bayerische Staatsoper Festival. Dean hails from Clarecastle, Ireland. Prior to joining the ensemble, he trained at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and D.I.T. Conservatory of Music and Drama, and graduated from the Munich Opera Studio in 2012. Outside of Munich, his guest appearances have included Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Gärtnerplatz Staatstheater, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and NHK Tokyo, as well as the Bamberg Symphoniker, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bayerische Philharmonie.

The young Croatian baritone Leon Košavić began his vocal training at the age of 12. He is a member of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel program under the direction of José van Dam. 

In 2011 he began his musical career as Papageno at the Croatian National Opera, where he sang Masetto and Moralès and Malatesta in the following years. In 2015 he made his debut at the Finnish National Opera as Malatesta (Don Pasquale). In the same year, Košavić won the Croatian Theatre Prize for "outstanding performances by young artists under 30" for his sensational performance of Don Giovanni. 

He has appeared at numerous European opera houses such as the Royal Opera House London (Turandot), Stuttgart State Opera (Don Giovanni), Liège (Nozze di Figaro), Antwerp (La Juive), Lausanne (Don Giovanni) and Strasbourg (Barbiere di Siviglia).

More recent performances took him to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Liverpool, Sao Paolo, Bergen, Paris and London. He has already given concerts in the Konzerhaus Berlin and at the Grafenegg Festival and in Bolzano.

Projects in this current season include the Royal Opera House London, a new production of „Der Schmied von Gent“ in Antwerp and concerts with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and the Liverpool and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras.

Presented by The Guinness Choir
Sponsored by DPS Engineering