Five decades to Verdi’s Requiem

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by Rose Rushe

The divine Cara O'Sullivan sings on April 25 with LCU
The divine Cara O’Sullivan sings on April 25 with LCU

WITH Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ last performed here 48 years ago by a nascent Limerick Choral Union, a full blooded version of its magnificence will resound through the concert hall on Saturday April 25. Malcolm Green is directing a choir of 115 members and LCU Orchestra’s of 50 musicians, describing the occasion as “a real honour to be able to conduct, it’s a chance of a lifetime leading it”.

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He has bolstering factors to support him: the fine track record of his Choral Union in challenges such as ‘Carmina Burana’ and the commissioned ‘spirestone’ being most recent.

Green has contracted four soloists of note for this next mission, soprano Cara O’Sullivan, mezzo soprano Sarah Ellen Murphy, tenor Derek Moloney and bass, Jeffrey Ledwidge.

Pianist Stuart O’Sullivan is another resource, rehearsing this mammoth choir weekly and sometimes twice a week at Christ Church, O’Connell Street.

‘[Requiem] is an auspicious work, operatic and dramatic, very exciting. Rehearsals have been going on each Wednesday and more since January,” Malcolm Green makes clear. “It’s a complex work written for eight trumpets, four bassoons, four French horns, three trombones, woodwind, strings and timpani. There are wonderful arias, a dramatic chorus and it’s a very emotional piece”.

Mezzo soprano Sarah Ellen Murphy, from Raheen
Mezzo soprano Sarah Ellen Murphy, from Raheen

He underlines that the famous bits are well known but there is much else to polish and deliver in this 1hour, 25minute epic.

“The content is about granting eternal rest – it’s about our life on earth and surviving. Requiem is a support for the dying and the dead”.

Which reflects its slow magisterial swells that fall deeply and then rise with the Saviour. Book a coveted seat at University Concert Hall for Saturday April 25 at 8pm at box office or go online www.uch.ie