[caption id="attachment_2711" align="alignright" width="175" caption="Helmuth Rilling conducts the Verdi Requiem June 25 and June 27"][/caption]Helmuth Rilling returns to Eugene forty years after the birth of the Oregon Bach Festival to lead one of the great all time choral works in an opening night performance: theRequiem by Giuseppe Verdi Friday, June 25 at 7:30 pm in Eugene's Hult Center.
Rilling commands the OBF soloists, chorus and orchestra again Sunday June 27 when the Requiem is performed in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland.
But in Eugene, music fills the air even before the maestro's first downbeat.
At 6:30 pm in the Inside Linelecture, Barbara Corrado Pope explores the ways in which this masterpiece honored the poet Manzoni and expressed Verdi's lifelong desire for a liberated and unified Italy. Pope's talk is presented in part by the UO's Clark Honors College, celbrating its 50th anniversary this year.
At 6:45 pm in the Hult Center lobby, the now traditional Opening Ceremonieswill again feature the 250 young singers of the Paciic International Children's Choir Festival in a free public serenade. With participants coming from seven choirs across the country, the group choir is conducted by Lynn Gackle of Baylor University and Peter Robb, PICCFEST director.
Verdi volunteered to write the Requiem in 1874 for the anniversary of the passing of the poet, novelist, patriot, and Italian hero Alessandro Manzoni. The masterful composer of such operas as Aida, Otello, and Falstaff, Verdi instilled his concert Requiem with thrilling sequences of powerful immediacy, at turns prayerful, passionate, poignant, and exultant. It met with instant acclaim.
Soloists for the Requiem are the German soprano Simone Schneider, alto Marietta Simpson and tenor James Taylor of the U.S., and Canadian bass Nathan Berg.
The concert is sponsored by KeyBank and Wildish Land Company, with media sponsor KVAL-TV.