In the words of BBC Music Magazine’s Deputy Editor, Jeremy Pound, “Verdi’s Requiem is one of the most dramatic, and undoubtedly the most operatic, of its type ever composed.” It was the death of the great Italian composer, Gioacchino Rossini, in 1868, that prompted Verdi and other composers to compose a Requiem for him. The attempt failed but Verdi had composed “Libera me”, which he would use later. Being disappointed that his and other composers efforts to write a Requiem for the great Rossini came to naught, Verdi decided to compose a Requiem alone, when the great Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni, whom he admired greatly, died in 1873. He included “Libera me” which he composed 5 years earlier. This Requiem achieved tremendous success and is now performed in major theatres, concert halls and opera houses throughout the world. Pound says that whenever Verdi Requiem is performed, it is a big occasion. The piece requires both a large orchestra and a big, strong and dynamic chorus.
Gauteng Choristers is best placed to perform this work with it’s more than 100 members. The choir has had a decorated history since it inception in 1998, under the daring conductor Sidwell Mhlongo. This promises to be a huge occassion at the Joburg Theatre on 08 April 2023. The audience will hear a South African star who has made a respectable name throughout the world, Pumeza Matshikiza. She will be joined by the mezzo-soprano, Nonhlanhla Yende, whose voice was cut out for this Requiem. These 2 ladies should combine very well to sing a breath-taking “Recordare”. Also joining is Reuben Mbonambi, who won 3rd prize in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2022. Reuben will sing the authoritative and demanding bass. The tenor will be sung by Kananelo Sehau, whose “Ingemisco” is eagerly awaited by the audience. Kananelo does not need any introduction in South African music scenes.
Get yourself a ticket from as little as R200 up to R500 for premium seats.