The following comes from a January 18 CC Watershed blog post by Dr. Alfred Calabrese, music director at Saint Rita Catholic Church. Dr. Calabrese is also the conductor for A Rose in Winter: The life of Saint Rita of Cascia.

A Rose in Winter: The life of Saint Rita of Cascia by composer Frank La Rocca will receive its world premiere on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 8:00pm in Dallas, Texas.

Internationally renowned composer La Rocca, from the diocese of Oakland, was commissioned to compose an oratorio on the life of St Rita. A parishioner from the diocese of San Diego, Matthew Lickona, was commissioned to write the libretto for this 90 minute oratorio. Matthew Lickona is a staff writer and film critic for the San Diego Reader, as well as the author of numerous books.

Four outstanding American soloists will take part in the world premiere:

Soprano — Melanie Sarakatsannis
Baritone — Sumner Thompson
Tenor — Brian Downen
Bass — Daniel Cole

The concert will be preceded by a three-day conference entitled “High Above the Stars: Sainthood, Beauty, and Catholic Artistic Expression.” The conference (May 19-21) is designed for musicians, artists, poets, theologians, and Catholic laity, and deals with the creation of sacred music and art, the promotion of beauty, and the quest for sainthood in everyday life.

Masterclasses will be held for conductors, composers, and poets. Speakers include: Carmen-Helena Téllez, (University of Notre Dame); David Clayton, artist, writer and educator, and a regular contributor to the New Liturgical Movement website; Ron and Kathryn Rombs (University of Dallas); and the Very Rev. Michael F. DiGregorio, O.S.A, Prior Provincial of the Augustinians of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Province. Fr. DiGregorio is the former director of the National Shrine of St. Rita in Philadelphia and pastor of the parish.

All are invited and encouraged to come to Dallas for this event. All proceedings will be held on the north Dallas campus of Saint Rita parish, which is a mere 15 minutes from DFW Airport. Click here for schedule of conference, and here to register for event.