Growing up, I sang in a boy’s soprano choir when I attended parochial school in fourth grade. We did not sing at requiem masses, but Kyrie Eleison and Agnus Dei were part of the mass we supported. It was 1950 and mass in those days was said in Latin. Christian music in Latin was not new to me when I sat down to enjoy Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass presented by Houston Grand Opera. What was new to me was the power of 178 powerful opera trained voices filling the Wortham Theater Center with music that you could almost reach out and touch. I was very familiar with the music from Requiem because it was frequently played by my mother on our record player in our home.
Ever since I drove away from the Wortham Friday night, this opera experience has consumed my subconscious. I cannot stop revisiting the sound of the voices which were supported by a flawless performance by the orchestra conducted by Patrick Summers. Listening to the orchestra and watching Summers conduct would be reason enough to make the visit to the Wortham, but coupled with the magnificent choir and the four soloists, this is an experience you will never forget. Soprano Angela Meade’s beautiful voice will make you wish the opera would not end.
The Requiem Mass is a mass honoring the deceased, and usually said the day of internment. I studied Revelation in the New Testament last year, and the music accurately depicts Judgment Day. This opera stands out as one of my favorites.
Verdi’s Requiem is playing in Houston February 10-18, 2017. Find out more about Houston Grand Opera’s Verdi Requiem here.