Symphonicity and ODU Choruses Bring Verdi’s Powerful Requiem to the Sandler Center for Performing Arts, Feb. 17

(Virginia Beach, Jan. 21, 2019) – For the third performance of its Destinations 2018-19 Masterworks Series, Symphonicity will transport audience members to Italy with a powerful presentation of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, featuring more than 130 singers from the Symphonicity and Old Dominion University (ODU) choruses, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts.

Under the direction of Symphonicity Music Director and Conductor Daniel W. Boothe and ODU Chorus Master Nancy Klein, the performance combines the drama of opera with the thrill of symphony in this intense and moving memorial.

In a gesture of national pride, Verdi delayed his own retirement to compose Requiem after the passing of the iconic Tuscan poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni in 1873. It was composed within a year of Manzoni’s death and premiered on May 22, 1874 in the Church of San Marco of Milan, conducted by the composer.

Envisioned as a musical interpretation of a funeral mass, the piece tells the dramatic story of man’s passing, from recognition that the end is near to the terror of what lies ahead on judgement day. Requiem is known for the pounding Dies Irae (day of wrath) section, featuring the crushing hammer blows of the bass drum with the orchestra playing in full force.

“Like a movie, it’s a heart-pounding and life-affirming 80-minute musical testimony,” said Boothe. “It uses a super-sized chorus, orchestra and cast of dramatic characters to explore the very essence of what it means to be human.”

In addition, the chorus and soloists are key components to the flow and movement of Requiem. Sunday’s performance will feature some of the region’s finest vocal talent with Anna Feucht, of Virginia Opera and Tidewater Opera Initiative; Emily Russell, Virginia Opera’s Children’s Chorus Master; Brian Nedvin, with ODU faculty; and Gregory Gardner, with Norfolk State University faculty.

“This requiem is written with the same dramatic passion that Verdi exhibited throughout his operatic compositions. The chorus not only supports the liturgical text, but serves as the passionate voice of an opera chorus as Verdi portrays the drama of life and death,” said Klein.

Pre-concert activities will begin at 2 p.m. in the Sandler Center lobby, including a talk with Maestro Boothe at 2:30 p.m. The performance starts at 3 p.m. Single tickets range from $27 to $50 and may be purchased at Military, group and student tickets are available for as low as $10 by calling the Sandler Center Box Office at (757) 385-2787. For additional concert details, please call Symphonicity at (757) 671-8611.