The Donizetti Requiem concert: more details

A date and a place have been set for the Donizetti Requiem concert: Sunday 13 November at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hill St, Thorndon. The time has not been finalised, but should be around 3 pm. The programme? Well, the aforementioned Requiem (which is coming along quite nicely in rehearsal) and … some other stuff.

The dress rehearsal will be on Friday 11 November, probably from 6 to 9 pm.

Adiós. ¡Hasta luego!


Inspirare: Convergence

Convergence Ticketing Graphic.jpgInspirare is a new Wellington professional choir. Its inaugural concert, Convergence, will be at 3:00 pm this coming Sunday, 4 September, at St Andrews on The Terrace. The Musical Director, Mark Stamper, describes the motivation behind the programme thus:

The first concert will be centered around three of the basic human needs: nature, spirituality, and community. My concept for this program began with the idea of the “north meeting south”. Since I am from the Northern Hemisphere and the singers are from the Southern Hemisphere, I wanted to draw on the thought of us coming together for this concert. I set out to find music from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, without limiting myself to a specific genre or period of music.

More information and a list of the pieces to be performed can be found on the Inspirare web site.

Capital Choir members will be looking out for our Acting Director, Sue Robinson, who will be singing in the alto section.

Term 2 ends

The choir’s Term 2 ended last night with another very productive rehearsal of the Donizetti Requiem.

In other news, via Heather Armishaw of NZCF Wellington, the New Zealand Youth Choir has won the Grand Prix at the IFAS Choral Competition in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Here they are performing in the opening concert.

After years in Capital Choir I’ve developed an aversion to walk-on singing, but I have to admit they did it rather well!

Donizetti Requiem

Gaetano Donizetti (portrait by Giuseppe Rillosi)
Gaetano Donizetti (portrait by Giuseppe Rillosi)

Towards the end of this year, probably in November, Capital Choir will perform Gaetano Donizetti’s Messa da Requiem. Donizetti was one of the leading composers of the bel canto opera style in the first half of the nineteenth century, along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini. He resolved to write a requiem mass during the final stages of rehearsal of Lucia di Lammermoor, when news reached him of his friend Bellini’s death. He seems to have completed the work promptly, but the the first known performance is as late as 1870.

We will be conducted by Sue Robinson, who has been appointed Guest Musical Director for 2016. Sue will take her first rehearsal on Tuesday, 24 May.

There are, as usual, various resources related to the Donizetti Requiem on the Web. Here is a recording on YouTube in the Italian style that Sue is aiming for:

This one is very clear and in tune, so good for note-learning:

This page has rehearsal files emphasised for each voice:

The files are in MP3 format rather than MIDI, and the voice parts have weird-sounding, computer-generated vowels and consonants, but the files should nevertheless be a good resource for those of us who are tone-challenged.

Term 1 ends

Capital Choir’s term 1 ended yesterday evening with an enthusiastic—and I think very successful—rehearsal of The Armed Man, led by Mark Dorrell. Thanks to all the guests from other choirs who joined in: you really added to the buzz. Regular rehearsals will resume on 10 May; for more details, check the programme. Meanwhile, some 30 or more capital Choir members will be joining the NZCF “May” Workshop this weekend (22–23 April), when we will have another go at The Armed Man.

The Armed Man

In the absence of a permanent musical director, Capital Choir rehearsals in the first term next year will be led by Mark Dorrell, who will take us through The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins. This is the piece that Mark will be conducting for next year’s NZCF May Workshop, actually on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 April.

You can check out this work in the usual way by searching on YouTube. Here’s a complete performance (about 70 minutes) from Salzburg in November 2013:

Furthermore, somewhat to my surprise, there are choral rehearsal (MIDI) files for this piece at several sites. Here’s one: