Opera Scotland

Messa da Requiem 1984Scottish National Orchestra

Read more about the opera Messa da Requiem

At this time, for many years, the Scottish National Orchestra mounted a series of Promenade Concerts to finish off the winter programmes. Glasgow and Edinburgh seasons ran successfully, timed to coincide with the end of exams at the various Universities. Eventually they spread the idea beyond the central belt, to include Aberdeen and Dundee. These both had thriving university populations, but it was unfortunate that timing issues dictated that these Proms, usually a Thursday, Friday and Saturday in one city repeated the following week in the other, invariably clashed with the exams which Edinburgh and Glasgow concerts so scrupulously avoided. In the northern cities, students were conspicuously absent from proceedings, which was a pity.

This year an enterprising attempt was made to introduce a different tone. A local choir was recruited from various sources (including members of the Aberdeen contingent that made up the northern section of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus). An experienced Verdian, Richard Armstrong was brought in to conduct, while the four soloists were of excellent quality, even if they were not associated with this particular repertoire.

Even if the solo quartet were unfamiliar with the major roles by Verdi, they were still able to contribute to an excellent performance. Willard White was now a familiar visitor to Scottish Opera. Graham Clark had been associated with that company since the start of his singing career, but was not known as a concert performer. As with the ladies, the surprise was just how good and idiomatic they all sounded, especially Kathryn Harries. Usually thought of as a mezzo, she had no difficulties with the elevated sections of her part, including the 'Libera me'.

Performance DatesMessa da Requiem 1984

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Music Hall, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

18 May, 19.30

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