ST. CATHARINES – Chorus Niagara, Niagara’s premier 100-voice choral ensemble, with Artistic Director Robert Cooper, present Giuseppe Verdi’s masterwork Requiem Saturday May 4, 7:30 p.m., at the historic Lake Street Armoury, 81 Lake Street, St. Catharines.
Audiences are invited to attend a post-concert reception for the historic lighting of Chorus Niagara’s 50th Anniversary Candles and to enjoy a sample of the anniversary celebration cake.
This 50th Anniversary season finale features over 200 singers and instrumentalists and showcases a brilliant quartet of Canadian Opera stars. Joining the 100 voices of Chorus Niagara are Choralis Camerata and Chorus Niagara’s Community and Side-by-Side High School Chorales.
The Niagara Symphony Orchestra accompanies the massed choir.
This gala performance celebrates not only the Golden Anniversary of Chorus Niagara, but also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, Italy’s most celebrated operatic composer.
Audiences will be dazzled by a Canadian superstar operatic quartet, comprised of Leslie Ann Bradley, soprano; Anita Krause, mezzo-soprano; David Pomeroy, tenor and Stephen Hegedus, bass-baritone.
Leslie Ann Bradley, soprano, possesses a voice described as ‘warm, voluptuous and beautifully expressive’. Opera Canada has described her as ‘A stylish singer that recalled a young Renee Fleming.’ Equally at home in opera, concert and recital, Ms. Bradley has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Toronto Opera in Concert, Brott Summer Music Festival, Boston Midsummer Opera, Toronto Operetta Theatre and the Aldeburgh Connection. A graduate of the University of Toronto Opera Program with a Master’s Degree, Ms. Bradley is also the winner of several prestigious awards. She has appeared on BRAVO television in ‘Love Story’ and recorded two episodes of ‘Opera Easy’ for BRAVO.
Anita Krause, mezzo-soprano, is consistently celebrated for her ‘gorgeous voice and impeccable musicianship’ and is equally esteemed in the concert hall and on the opera stage. Ms. Krause has performed with symphonies and choruses from coast to coast in Canada and the United States including the Toronto Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Canadian Opera Company and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Ms. Krause’s performances are frequently broadcast across Canada on CBC radio. Her discography includes Vivaldi Sacred Music with the Aradia Ensemble on the Naxos label and Verdi and Rossini Rarities with Canadian Opera Company Orchestra for CBC Discs. She is a faculty member in the Music Department at the University of Western Ontario.
David Pomeroy, tenor, blessed with a ‘rich voice and thrilling top notes’, Mr. Pomeroy has achieved international acclaim and is enjoying a career in the world’s most important opera houses. The Newfoundland native recently made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the title role of Les Contes d’Hoffmann under the baton of James Levine. He has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony, the Manitoba Opera, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the New York City Opera, and in February of this year, made his Glenn Gould Studio recital debut for Roy Thomson Hall’s Canadian Voices series. His discography includes Sam Jarvis Jr. in Serinette and the title role in The Death of Enkidu for Soundstreams on the Centridis label as well as for Vara Radio in Rotterdam with the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Stephen Hegedus, bass-baritone, boasts a ‘voice of velvety richness and effortless projection’ with’ truly amazing low notes’. A graduate of Atelier lyrique de l’Opera de Montreal and with a Master’s of Music in Opera from the University of Toronto, Mr. Hegedus has performed with Symphonies in Victoria, Santiago Chile, Houston, Edmonton, Quebec and Vancouver. He has appeared with Opera companies including the Vancouver Opera and Opera de Montreal; in festivals including Festival Lanaudiere, the Lameque International Baroque Festival, Brott Summer Music Festival and the Grant Park Festival in Chicago. He is a winner of numerous honours including appearing as a finalist at Placido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition, two graduating awards from the University of Toronto and is a grant holder of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Opera Singers and of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Verdi’s Requiem was first performed in Milan Italy in May of 1874. It was composed in memory of Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, who was much admired by Verdi. Giuseppe Verdi is the composer of many well-known operas including Nabucco, Rigoletto, Aida, Otello and Falstaff, favourites of opera companies around the world today. Requiem, was a departure for the composer, who was considered to be an agnostic. Verdi’s operatic style lent a complex and theatrical flair to the Mass format, making it a dramatic audience favourite.
This concert is generously sponsored by Jeff and Kitty Cairns.
Tickets are available from the Brock University Box Office in St. Catharines 905-688-5550 ext. 3257; toll free 1-866-617-3257; online www.arts.brocku.ca , or from a chorus member.
(Submitted by event organizers)