Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Verdi Requiem in May 2000

Performance enthrals audience

The City of Dunedin Choir shared top billing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the Town Hall on Saturday evening [27 May 2000] in a magnificent performance of Verdi's Requiem.

Musical director David Burchell has certainly brought out the best in this 150-member choir. Intensive preparation and disciplined rehearsals have lifted them to the heights required for performance with a professional orchestra of international standing and international soloists.

Confident and forthright singing came from all sections of the choir throughout.

Verdi's Requiem covers the full range of choral and orchestral nuance and conductor James Judd delivered a highly dramatic and impassioned Requiem, in strong Verdian style.

Even familiarity with requiem components and the non-secular text failed to keep heavy operatic overtones at bay and the large audience was presented with a musical fresco of emotional extremes.

Full-bodies tumultous assaults marked the opening of each "Dies Irae" chorus with thrilling effect and little use was made of accepted rubato practice to allow the more subdued passages of rich harmonic testures to linger.

The soloists generally followed strong forthright deliveries in keeping with the entire mood, but with occasional lapses in projection of emotional commitment to the text.

The solemn beauty and soaring strength of the final Soprano aria Lord, deliver me out of everlasting death rang out before the subdued final phrases "Save me, Oh Lord", then a moment of absolute silence cued tumultuous applause from an enthralled audience.

Soloists were soprano Lisa Gasteen, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Campbell (both from Australia), tenor Anson Austin and bass Rodney McCann (both New Zealand born).

Review by Elizabeth Bouman in the ODT, Monday 29 May 2000.

What a wonderful performance that was!
Come hear City Choir Dunedin and the NZSO do it again:

Thursday 27 June, 6:30 pm, Dunedin Town Hall 

Tickets are now on sale!

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