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OBF Portland features Verdi, Mendelssohn, Quasthoff

  • Jun 13, 2010
[caption id="attachment_2733" align="alignright" width="217" caption="Thomas Quasthoff sings the title role in Elijah July 9"][/caption]The Oregon Bach Festival's Portland performances present two of music’s most dramatic masterworks: Verdi’s Requiem June 27 and Mendelssohn’s Elijah July 9 with soloist Thomas Quasthoff in the lead role. Helmuth Rilling conducts the OBF soloists, chorus and orchestra in both performances in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. 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 Oregon Bach Festival performance are the German soprano Simone Schneider, alto Marietta Simpson and tenor James Taylor of the U.S., and Canadian bass Nathan Berg. Watch the Verdi video trailer. Mendelssohn’s Elijah recounts the Old Testament tale of a prophet embroiled in the dangers of false gods, tyrannical kings, threat of drought, and a mystical journey through the wilderness. The events unfold swiftly in Mendelssohn’s musical drama, and the audience for its 1846 premiere demanded and received eight encores. Quasthoff made his American debut at the 1995 Festival and from there rocketed to stardom on the world’s great stages. A three-time Grammy winner, he has been the subject of numerous articles in major press including Time, People and Esquire magazines. He has been profiled on the CBS news program 60 Minutes and on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He’s joined on the Schnitzer hall stage by soprano Elizabeth Keusch, alto Roxana Constantinescu, and tenor Taylor. Tickets per concert range from $17-$63 and are on sale through TicketMaster.com and all outlets, including the Portland Center for the Performing Arts box office, 1111 SW Broadway. Additional concert details: Verdi Requiem, Sunday, June 27, 3 pm. Mendelssohn Elijah, Friday July 9, 7:30 pm. Many thanks to our OBF Portland concert sponsors: Lufthansa, 1859 Oregon's Magazine, the stations of All Classical FM.