News & Reviews

« All News & Reviews

Austin Symphony Honors JFK with Performances of the Verdi Requiem

October 18, 2013
  • Who: Austin Symphony Orchestra
  • What: Verdi's Requiem
  • When: November 1 & 2, 2013 - 8:00pm
  • Where: Dell Hall, Long Center for the Performing Arts
  • Cost: $19-$56

Maestro Peter Bay and the ASO invite concertgoers for “Your Night Out” as they continue the 103rd season of classical concerts with performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass. Chorus Austin joins the ASO, as well as world-class soloists, for performances on Friday and Saturday, November 1st & 2nd in Dell Hall at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. These concerts are proudly sponsored by Harden Healthcare.

Verdi – Messa da Requiem

A monumental choral masterpiece, Verdi’s Requiem Mass is often referred to as Verdi’s greatest opera, when, in fact, it is one of the few compositions in his catalog that is not an opera. It is a work that was praised by Johannes Brahms as a work that “could be done only by a genius.” Although written on the texts of traditional Roman Catholic liturgy, it was never intended to be used as part of a church service. It was, in fact, written as a public tribute to Alessandro Manzoni, a poet and novelist who was one of the few men that Giuseppe Verdi revered. In his early career Verdi had set several of Manzoni’s poems to music. Although the two men had met only once in 1868, Verdi clearly believed that Manzoni was a saint who combined enormous talent with the highest level of nobility and virtue. The work for orchestra, large chorus and four soloists premiered on May 22, 1874, the day Manzoni dies the previous year.

Joining Maestro Peter Bay and the ASO for these performances will be the vocal forces of the 170-member Chorus Austin, as well as soloists, Mela Dailey, soprano; Kathryn Findlen, mezzo-soprano; William Davenport, tenor; and Kevin Short, bass-baritone.

This work is being performed in honor of Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial and in memory of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose assassination took place 50 years ago, November 22, 1963. The entire work will be performed without intermission.

Tickets for Verdi’s Requiem with the Austin Symphony range from $19 to $56. Student rush tickets are also available 20 minutes prior to performance for $5 cash and current student ID (subject to availability). Charge tickets online at where you will find seating maps, price options and a wealth of concert information. Tickets are also available at the Austin Symphony Box Office, 11th and Red River or call 476-6064 or 1-888-4-MAESTRO (toll-free).