The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's (CCM) Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Chorale will present a rare two-evening run of Giuseppi Verdi's Requiem at 8 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, in UC's Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now.
CCM mounts these performances in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth, which will be Oct. 10, 2013. Huge choral and orchestral forces come together for this highlight of the 2013 CCM Orchestra Series, with choirs prepared by Earl Rivers, director of Choral Studies, and Brett Scott, Choral Studies faculty member, as well as performances led by Maestro Mark Gibson, director of Orchestral Studies and of the CCM Philharmonia.
Soloists for both performances include:
CCM alumna Helen Lyons, soprano, who most recently returned to sing the title role in CCM's acclaimed 2011 concert performance of Puccini's Turandot;
Leah de Gruyl, mezzo soprano, who sang Mother Goose in CCM's Mainstage production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress in 2012;
CCM alumnus Daniel Weeks, tenor, who was both a national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs' Young Artist Competition.
Andrew Funk, bass, who recently performed with Opera Lyra Ottawa, San Francisco Opera, Opera Boston, Arizona Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.
Written for double choir, four soloists and a large orchestra, Verdi's Requiem is highly theatrical in nature and was written to be performed in concert as opposed to in a liturgical setting. The work's vast dynamic range is spectacular, from the whispers of "requiem aeternam"-"rest eternal"-in the opening movement to Verdi's fiery portrayal of the day of judgment with blaring trumpets and pounding drums in the "dies irae"-"day of wrath."
The origins of this sacred masterwork began in 1868, when Verdi composed what would later be the final movement of his requiem, "Libera me." At Verdi's suggestion, some of the most distinguished Italian composers of the time had assembled a composite requiem in memory of composer Giacomo Rossini, but performances of the complete work never came to fruition. It is likely that when Verdi's "Libera me" was returned to him in 1873 he made the decision to write an entire requiem of his own, dedicating it to friend, poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, who had died that year.
8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1
8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2
Corbett Auditorium, CCM VillageUniversity of Cincinnati
Tickets are $12 for general audiences, $6 for non-UC students. UC student tickets are FREE. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice.