Carol McKenzie and John Malveaux
John Malveaux of
April 1, 2017 performance by Santa Monica Symphony and chorus of Giuseppe Verdi: Requiem under baton of Guido Lameli shook my Catholic roots to prayers for ancestors, family, and myself.
"The Messa da Requiem is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass (Requiem) for four soloists, double choir and orchestra by Giuseppe Verdi. The Mass and its settings draw their name from the introit of the liturgy, which begins with the words "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine" – "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord". ("Requiem" is the accusative singular form of the Latin noun requies, "rest, repose".)
"When the Requiem was composed, female singers were not permitted to perform in Catholic Church rituals (such as a requiem mass). However, from the beginning Verdi intended to use female singers in the work. In his open letter proposing the Requiem project (when it was still conceived as a multi-author Requiem for Rossini), Verdi wrote: "If I were in the good graces of the Holy Father—Pope Pius IX—I would beg him to permit—if only for this one time—that women take part in the performance of this music; but since I am not, it will fall to someone else better suited to obtain this decree. In the event, when Verdi composed the Requiem alone, two of the four soloists were sopranos, and the chorus included female voices. This may have slowed the work's acceptance in Italy. "
In the concluding Libera me, soprano Caroline McKenzie dramatically soar, begging, "Deliver me, Lord, from eternal death ... when you will come to judge the world by fire."
See pic backstage with Soprano Caroline McKenzie taken by Aleta Braxton who sang in the Chorus. Aleta is also career member of LA Opera chorus