The Performing Arts Department’s Choral Union, continuing its association with the Arts at Grace concert series, will begin rehearsals on Monday, Jan. 28, for its most ambitious and challenging concert to date, “The Manzoni Requiem,” by Giuseppi Verdi.
Two performances of this work are slated for Friday, May 3, and Sunday, May 5. Department chair and professor David Neal is artistic director.
The first rehearsal will begin at 7 p.m. in Grace Holy Spirit Church on Court Street in Cortland. There is no audition or membership fee to participate in the Choral Union. The Arts at Grace will provide music through fundraising support and it is hoped that each singer will purchase a score for $15.
More commonly referred to as “The Verdi Requiem,” the work was written to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of the great Italian poet Manzoni. Most singers, instrumentalists and conductors consider it to be the most powerful, profoundly moving and transcendent piece in the long history of western choral music, according to Performing Arts Professor Stephen B. Wilson.
Wilson will conduct a 42-piece orchestra, four world-class soloists and a chorus that he hopes will number from 80 to 100 singers. All former members of the Choral Union and any other interested singers are urged to participate.