For the first time in nearly 10 years, The Florida Orchestra will perform Verdi’s sublime Requiem, featuring Music Director Michael Francis and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, on April 20-22 as part of TFO’s 50th anniversary season. Here are three reasons it will be a night of pure heaven in the concert hall.
It’s alive! You can get a hint of its power on Youtube, but nothing can compare to the awe of seeing Verdi’s Requiem live. Kind of like experiencing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. The Florida Orchestra last performed it in the 2008/2009 season, so you’d better take this opportunity while you can.
High drama: Clearly Giuseppe Verdi is a master of opera (Rigoletto, La traviata), and it shows in his Requiem: pounding rhythms, gorgeous melodies and solos and dramatic contrasts to express intense emotions. For full dramatic effect, listen for offstage trumpets positioned somewhere in the concert hall.
It’s massive: Extra musicians are hired to swell The Florida Orchestra to about 90 musicians. Add in about 140 members of the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and four soloists, and you’ve got a full stage of 230, packed with power.
Bonus! The story makes it even better: For these performances, TFO is partnering with the Florida Holocaust Museum to tell the haunting story of how Jews in the Terezin/Theresienstadt concentration camp learned the Requiem from a single score and sang it as a message to their captors. As one said: "We sang to the Nazis what we could not say to them." For the full story, come to the pre-concert talk that starts one hour before the performance, included free with every ticket. Knowing the Requiem’s history certainly is not necessary to enjoy the concert, but it does make it even more powerful.
Friday, April 20, 8 pm, Straz Center
Saturday, April 21, 8 pm, Mahaffey Theater
Sunday, April 22, 7:30 pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall
Tickets: $15, $30, $45
Kids and teens get in free with Classical Kids tickets, available in advance.
Note this concert is performed without intermission.