Maestro Eric Paetkau discusses Rebecca Dale's beautiful Materna Requiem
Posted by Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on Friday, February 21, 2020
It’s the beauty of the relationship between mother and child that soprano Chelsea Mahan feels most when she sings Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem. Mahan is one of the vocalists bringing Dale’s work to the North American stage for the first time.
“The music is like being caressed, cradled, cared for,” says Mahan. “You feel the connection between child and parent.”
“The music is like being caressed, cradled, cared for. You feel the connection between child and parent.”
Only in her 30’s Dale is the first female composer to ever be signed to a record contract (Decca Classics.) In addition to her exceptional work with classical artists, she has composed for both film and television. Dale created Materna Requiem as a breathtaking and uplifting tribute to her mother who died in 2010. The work is about healing and love.
“This piece is very personal to me right now because I’ve just become a mom for the second time,” says Mahan. “We are living in a time of women rising up and finding their power. This piece has all the highs and lows of motherhood.”
The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s Materna Requiem Saturday March 7, 2020 at TCU Place will feature familiar vocals of Mahan, Spencer McKnight and the Saskatoon Symphony Chorus. The performance will also showcase newcomers Emma Gillingham (15) and Kennedy Siba (17). In a special surprise, Dale announced that she will be making the journey from London to Saskatoon for the performance.
Siba is honored for the chance to perform in front of the composer and share the stage with such accomplished musicians.
“I want to have a career in performance and voice and this is a piece of music that will move a lot of people.” She says. “I’ve grown up with music from my mom and grandma.” Siba’s grandmother is Marilyn Whitehead who founded the Fireside Singers, a group both her and mother, Kristin Siba perform with. “It will be amazing to sing for them, to see what they created in me.”
The evening will also feature performances of George Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, Gerald Finzi’s A Severn Rhapsody and Oiseaux bleus et sauvages by Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock.
Mahan says this will be a performance filled with raw emotion and a celebration of women.
“It makes me reflect on my own relationships with my mother, my grandmother and my two little girls.” says Mahan, “The beauty of this music is the universality of the voices and the music that Dale gives – anyone can connect.”