Festival Corale Internazionale di Roma
The Rome International Choral Festival is one of Rome’s premier annual summer music events. The eighth-annual festival will feature Mass participation at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on June 23, 2017, and a formal finale concert at Rome’s famed Basilica of Saint Mary above Minerva on June 24, 2017 The festival chorus will include mixed-voice singers and choirs from across North America that will come together to rehearse and perform en masse under the baton of maestro Z. Randall Stroope. Tour and festival production is provided by Music Celebrations International.
The Festival Corale Internazionale di Roma has become a seasoned classic in Italy’s historic capital.
Taking place annually in June, the event features a major choral performance in one of Rome’s most historic basilicas, Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and is punctuated by a Mass and choral participation in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. With the exception of a break in 2010, maestro Z. Randall Stroope has served as the festival’s Conductor and Artistic Director since its inception in 2009.
Dr. Stroope is one of the world’s foremost composers, with more than 140 works published, and is a highly-active and sought-after conductor and lecturer. He is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he conducts the Concert Chorale and Chamber Choir, and coordinates the undergraduate and graduate choral conducting program at the University.
On arrival in Rome, participating singers are exposed to to three days of eating, mingling, and rehearsing with one another under Dr. Stroope’s direction. Explorations of Imperial Rome, featuring visits to the Roman Forum and Colosseum, as well asReligious Rome, highlighted by a tour of Vatican City, are interspersed with the rehearsals.
On the third day, after enjoying a guided tour via whisper system through the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, all festival participants join together to participate and sing in a late afternoon Mass in the glorious St. Peter’s Basilica – the largest of all Catholic churches in the world.
Located near the Pantheon, the Basilica di Santa Maria sopra Minerva is an extraordinary Gothic masterpiece that features some of the most impressive displays of Italian art. Near the high alter is Michelangelo’s Cristo della Minerva, a sculpted depiction of Jesus carrying the cross. Also near the altar are two superb frescoes by the 15th-century Florentine artist, Filippino Lippi. The soaring vaulted ceiling is painted a rich, dark blue with gilded stars, symbolizing the sky and heaven.
Known as one of the most impressive spaces in Rome for the voice, Andrea Bocelli selected the basilica for his PBS millennium broadcast in December 1999 because of its tremendous acoustic and beauty.
The basilica derives its name from Minerva, the Roman Goddess of Wisdom, and resides over the site where an ancient temple was erected in her honor. It serves as the resting place for many remarkable figures of history, including Saint Catherine of Siena, whose body lies beneath the main altar – though her head remains in Siena – the Venetian sculptor Andrea Bregno, the Italian Renaissance painter Fra Angelico, the Humanist Cardinal Pietro Bembo, and Popes Urban VII, Paul IV, Leo X, and Clement VII.
Choirs are now being accepted to register for the festival. Visit the festival website to learn how to join this once-in-a-lifetime experience.