Over 30 years ago, Carl and I helped to organize a regional convention in Hawaii for the American Guild of Organists. I was General Chair and Carl was Program Chair, positions we were “volunteered” for before we got married. So we had no idea that it would be so time-consuming and energy-exhausting! For six months prior to the convention, we put in many 18-hour days, and sometimes longer that that.
This week has been like that — except it’s thirty years later and we are consumed with the upcoming Monteverdi concerts. My job has been to layout the elaborate program booklet and yesterday, I sent it off to the printer. Ian Capps assembled and edited the artist bios, Carl typed the English translations, and I put in the Latin texts and laid the whole thing out in a 16-page booklet, complete with full color covers. It will be quite a collectors’ item!
In his opening statement, Carl writes: . . . regarding the vocal soloists, we have in Honolulu wonderful singers to present this music. Very early on I knew that Georgine Stark and Mihoko Ito would be the ideal soprano soloists and that Nicholas Walters and Keane Ishii would be a great pair for the bass music. The problem is, of course, the extremely demanding tenor music, which ultimately needs to be lyrical but at the same time demanding great agility and virtuosity, all the while not over-powering much of the intimate scoring of the solo music in the Vespers. so, I needed to invite “3 tenors” who specialize in this music, two of whom have indeed performed it together many times.
The Three Tenors who are coming for the Monteverdi are: Derek Chester, Matthew Tresler, and former Honolulu resident Joseph Z. Pettit. Here’s a brief bio on each:
Derek Chester is currently finishing his doctorate in Opera and Early Music at the University of North Texas under Jennifer Lane (who has sung here many times), where he is a Toulouse fellow and doctoral teaching fellow. He completed his Master’ s degree in Vocal Performance of Oratorio, Early Music, Song and Chamber Music in 2006 as a student of renowned American tenor James Taylor and with a full scholarship from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. As a Fulbright Scholar, he spent a year in Germany working as a freelance musician and furthering his training with celebrated German tenor, Christoph Prégardien.
Matthew Tresler is director of the Women’s Ensemble at Concordia College, Irvine, CA and recently moved to California from Florida where he obtained a Doctoral degree in choral conducting at the University of Miami. While in Florida, he was the Director of Music Ministries at historic Coral Gables Congregational Church.
Joseph Z. Pettit is returning to Honolulu from Tacoma, WA where he is the Organist-Choirmaster of Trinity Lutheran Church, across the street from Pacific Lutheran University. Joe was the Evangelist in both our performances of the Bach St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion. And it was because he was a former student of the renowned bass, Max van Egmond, that Max came to Hawaii to sing in the St. John Passion. As you may remember, Joe did a lot of musicmaking with us at LCH while he lived here. He was formerly the Organ Scholar at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and later the interim Music Director at Central Union Church.
These three tenors will have some blockbuster arias to sing, some with echo effects. Derek Chester and Matthew Tresler have already sung the Monteverdi Vespers a dozen times together just this year.