Considered one of the composer’s most dramatic vocal works, Verdi’s Requiem is a monumental feat of musical and humane spiritual expression. As the capstone to Opera Roanoke’s 46th season, this towering work showcases four soloists, a double chorus and a large orchestra, all performing on the highest plains of musical and expressive profundity. As a sonic experience alone, this great masterpiece never fails to leave an indelible impression.
A requiem is most often a musical setting of a Catholic funeral mass. While not particularly religious himself, Verdi composed this piece in memory of his friend, Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet, novelist, and cultural icon of his time. Though not technically an opera, NPR has called Verdi’s great work an “Opera in disguise” because of its powerfully dramatic writing, both vocally and symphonically, which is a quintessential characteristic of Verdi’s operas.
Our performances of Verdi’s Requiem serve as an invitation to our community to reflect on what we have all gone through, what we may still be dealing with, and that we are still here together.