St. John's Church to present 'Stabat Mater'

Nora O'Sullivan photo for 2/14 life

A full performance of Giovanni Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" will be presented at 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist Church, 11 Fourth Ave. S.W., Rochester.

"We have done parts of this on Good Friday here," said organist Sebastian Modarelli. "I said, 'We should offer this to the entire community.'"

Modarelli will be joined by vocalists Nora O'Sullivan and Marissa Brengman and the Cameo String Quartet for the production.

The "Stabat Mater," based on a text from the 13th century, follows the suffering of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as her son is nailed to the cross. It has been taken as a subject by several composers, but Modarelli said he prefers Pergolesi's version.

"The music really expresses what the text says," he said. "You can feel you are at the cross with Mary. It's so moving. It's difficult for me to listen to this piece without being moved to tears."


O'Sullivan is a cantor at St. John's, and has performed numerous times with vocal ensembles in Rochester. Brengman is also a cantor at the church and has been a director for the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota.

Modarelli studied organ at the National Conservatory of Music in Argentina.

The Cameo String Quartet is led by violinist Anne Judisch, who has been performing for 40 years in the Rochester area.

The reader will be Mary Claire Hachmeister.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Obra del Padre Mario Pantaleo, a trade school and health center for poor families in Argentina.

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