Almost 250 years on, Giuseppina Verdi’s words still ring true, her husband, Giuseppi Verdi’s Requiem is one of the most frequently performed choral works in the world, loved by audiences the world over.
Written to honour the life of fellow Italian, novelist Alessandro Manzoni, a contemporary that Verdi had revered, it’s an intensely personal work, which he himself described as:
A tribute of respectful affection, the expression of my sorrow a heartfelt impulse, or rather necessity to do honour as best I can to that Great One.
Verdi was, of course, Italy’s most celebrated opera composer, so when it came to writing a requiem – a mass for the dead – it naturally overflowed with his trademark operatic colours, emotional impact and spectacular dramatic power. Rather than comfort and console, Verdi’s Requiem is 90 minutes of vital energy and passion, demanding singers of exceptional quality.
Giuseppina Verdi, 1874:
We who are living will hear it and know it is being repeated in every corner of the civilised world. Posterity will place it, with wings outspread, in domination of all the music of mourning ever conceived by the human brain.
As Janet Healey wrote for ABC Classic in 2019:
Verdi’s Requiem evokes not merely human feeling but personal anguish and doubt, and its dramatic power is not mere surface decoration but flows from a deeply felt conflict between the impersonal assurance of the liturgy and the personal experience of mortality.
Presented by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for one concert only, conducted by the inimitable Brett Weymark, this will be an afternoon for lovers of Verdi’s operas, and of life itself; performed by some of Australia’s biggest stars of opera, including Latvian soprano Maija Kovalevska – who recently lit up stages across Australia as Mimi in La Boheme, and Latin American tenor Diego Torre, alongside Deborah Humble, David Greco and a force of more than 350 singers from Sydney Philharmonia’s Festival Chorus.
Book now before it sells out, 2pm Saturday May 20, at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Ticket holders are also invited to a free 30-minute pre-concert talk by 2MBS Fine Music presenter Ross Hayes in the Northern Foyer of the Concert Hall, commencing at 1.15pm. Grab a drink and listen in, for a fascinating insight into Verdi’s masterpiece.
Venue: Sydney Opera House| Concert Hall
Dates: 20 May 2023
For more information click HERE