Houston Grand Opera presents Verdi's Requiem
Widely recognized as one of the most dramatic works written in the form of the Christian liturgy, Verdi’s mighty Requiem differs from those of other composers in that it demands operatic performing forces; it has been called “an opera in disguise.”
The work premiered in 1874 at Milan’s Church of San Marco with four operatic soloists and the composer on the podium. The occasion was the anniversary of the death of Italian poet and national hero Alessandro Manzoni, to whom Verdi dedicated the work. Subsequent performances often took place in opera houses, and from the beginning, critics remarked, some disapprovingly, on the work’s operatic nature.
What has never been questioned is the Requiem’s profound spiritual, even cathartic impact, which has caused it to be performed under the most trying of circumstances, such as in a World War II concentration camp, and excerpted on such occasions as the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, and in New York City after the 9/11 tragedy.
Angela Meade, whose Norma at the Metropolitan Opera created a critical stir, will make her HGO debut as the soprano soloist.