Verdi 200 to be celebrated at Bristol Choral Society's Colston Hall concert

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By scchoir | Sunday, March 17, 2013, 20:46

Bristol Choral Society's 23rd March Colston Hall concert offers two rare treats for enthusiasts of classical, choral or vocal music - Rossini's Stabat Mater and Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces.

The bicentenary of Verdi's birth will be celebrated with a rare performance of his Four Sacred Pieces. Written when Verdi was in his eighties, they are quite extraordinary and wonderfully contrasted works of sustained genius - the culmination of a lifetime's remarkable musical output. They include the unaccompanied Ave Maria, uniquely composed using the 'enigmatic scale', a huge Te Deum for double chorus and orchestra, and a wonderful Stabat Mater.

Rossini's very different and larger-scale Stabat Mater will also be performed at the same concert. Written by a much more youthful 30-something opera retiree, Rossini's setting is full of beauty, drama and famous highlights, such as the tenor aria Cujus animamrecorded by such greats as Caruso, Bjoerling and Pavarotti over the years.

Conductor Adrian Partington says 'these are two magnificent choral works, but inexplicably they are not often performed - and certainly not on the scale of this performance in a major concert hall with large choir, professional orchestra and soloists.'

The 150-strong choir will be joined by the 70-piece English Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Partington, with an outstanding quartet of soloists who have experience singing with the leading opera companies in the UK and beyond: Soprano Camilla Roberts has often sung with Welsh National Opera, mezzo-soprano Clare Presland has just been singing in English National Opera's La Traviata, tenor Adrian Dwyer made his professional debut in Baz Luhrmann's La Bohème in Los Angeles and bass David Soar, as well as being a WNO regular, made his Metropolitan opera debut last year and returns there next season.

Tickets for the 7.30pm Bristol Colston Hall concert on Saturday 23rd March (£10-£23, under 25s £5, 10% discount for OAPs) are available from or from Colston Hall in person, by phone (0117 922 3686) or at the door.

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