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September 2014


Announcing the 30th Season of the Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale

1984, the Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale was formed by director Richard Severing, to provide an opportunity for people to enjoy performing and hearing classic vocal music. Three decades later, the Chorale is inviting those who love to sing to join in presenting the Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi.
Verdi's Requiem has its roots in the death of poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, who died on May 22, 1873. Verdi was too grief-stricken to attend his funeral, while Italy mourned the loss of a leading cultural icon. Verdi proposed composing a memorial in the form of a requiem, the Roman Catholic Funeral Mass, to honor the memory of Manzoni, to the mayor of Milan, who agreed immediately. Verdi's Requiem was performed on the first anniversary of Manzoni's death.
The piece was premiered in May 1874 in Milan and was composed to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni, the celebrated Italian writer and one of the leaders of the Italian Risorgimento, the Italian unification movement. Verdi himself conducted the world premiere of one hundred twenty chorus singers and orchestra of one hundred musicians. The work was immediately hailed as a masterpiece and quickly performed in the world’s leading music capitals, all to critical and popular acclaim. Verdi’s Requiem is set in seven movements: Requiem and Kyrie; Dies Irae; Offertorio; Sanctus; Agnus Dei; Lux aeterna; and Libera me.
Verdi's dramatic gifts are on full display in this work. His vibrant questioning and self-confidence throughout the piece result in true magic.
The Chorale last performed this piece in 1993. In addition to the choral singers, it will include 37 orchestra members and four soloists.
“I am happy to be in a position to bring this art form to all of the people who are involved in singing or playing, as well as those who come to the productions we do,” Severing says. “I am also very humbled to be able to work with all of these wonderful people. It is terrific to be a part of making this music happen with everyone who cares so deeply that we do the very best we are able to do.”
“Being able to help bring this music into the lives of the people I work with and to the member of the audience makes me proud. I’m grateful here are people out there who have a real desire to work together with me to make this music happen.”
The new season begins on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, with the first rehearsal. All rehearsals are held in the choir room of the Elkhorn Area High School. New participants may register that evening, filling out the registration form and receiving their scores for the music. You may join the Chorale later in the season – just come to the rehearsal to do so. Dues this year are $20.00. No auditions are necessary. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday night from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., with an additional dress rehearsal before the performance on Friday, May 2, 2014, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the James Wehner Auditorium of the high school.

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