Live Choral Music: Verdi's Requiem

Past event
Apr 20, 2024, 7:30 to 9:30 PM

Burlington Choral Society Sings Verdi's Requiem

On Saturday, April 20th, the Burlington Choral Society (BCS) will perform Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem at the Elley-Long Music Center in Colchester, VT honoring the 150th anniversary year of its first performance at Milan's Church of San Marco on May 22, 1874.

"The Verdi Requiem is one of the titans," says BCS Artistic Director Richard Riley. "Dramatic from the downbeat!"

Verdi's original setting was for four soloists, double choir and large orchestra. In this performance, the Burlington Choral Society will be performing a 2012 arrangement by the German choir director and music pedagogue Michael Betzner-Brandt, who arranged the work as a "chamber oratorio" for piano, horn, double bass, marimba, and percussion. The four vocal soloists will be soprano Helen Lyons, mezzo-soprano Amber Smoke, tenor Joshua Collier, and bass Jeremiah Johnson. Richard Riley will conduct.

The Verdi Requiem is almost never performed in a church setting, both because of the size of the full orchestra and chorus, and because its musical language is considered more operatic than liturgical. Nevertheless, it has become one of the most frequently performed major choral works in the United States and Europe. The Metropolitan Opera has performed it more than 50 times since 1901, most recently in September 2023. During World War II it was performed sixteen times by Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezin). It was last performed in Burlington by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in 2010.

In presenting this Requiem performance, the Burlington Choral Society honors the memories of past members and leaders Ann Curran, William Harwood, and Maria Novas-Schmidt. Tickets are available now at

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Elley-Long Music Center

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