Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is sung by Santa Fe Desert Chorale; Charles Lloyd blows sax at the Lensic; the Festival of Song graces the Scottish Rite Center; and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival presents noontime concerts
Harry Bicket is the chief conductor of the Santa Fe Opera, where he is currently leading Gounod’s
Roméo et Juliette. He has been more widely associated with earlier repertoire, though, and he turns his attention to the 18th century when he directs (from the organ) a concert presented under the auspices of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi composed his Stabat Mater in early 1736, just after he celebrated his twenty-sixth birthday, which would be his last. By that time he had gained eminence as an opera composer in Naples. Not long later, his simplified operatic style set off the Querelle des Bouffons, the aesthetic debate that two centuries later inspired Richard Strauss to write
Capriccio — so there’s another Santa Fe Opera connection. His Stabat Mater spotlights two soloists, here soprano Meredith Ruduski and mezzo-soprano Helen Karloski, who are both choristers with the Desert Chorale. Do not go expecting a choral concert; the vocal component is limited to those soloists, who will be assisted by a small ensemble of New Mexico musicians. The program is eked out by short pieces by Henry Purcell and John Blow. Performances take place at the Loretto Chapel, 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1, as well as on Aug. 7 and 10. Tickets ($20-$65) can be purchased by calling 505-988-2282 or through www.desertchorale.org. — J.M.K.