Opera Scotland

Messa da Requiem 1891Glasgow Choral Union

Read more about the opera Messa da Requiem

Verdi's Requiem was first performed in Milan in 1874 and reached London within a couple of years. For it not to reach Glasgow for a further fifteen years may seem surprising nowadays.   But there was in Scotland at this period a definite sense of disapproval of such a strongly Catholic piece.

The Orchestra of Glasgow Choral Union was essentially a group of players most of whom had come up from London for the season. As well as playing in Glasgow they were paid to play elsewhere, notably in Dundee for the Dundee Choral Union. Within a further couple of years, this band of players was to take a different name - The Scottish Orchestra - and it is therefore the origin of the current RSNO.

The most famous of the singers was the bass, Charles Santley. It was many years since his retirement fryom opera, and he had rarely sung in Scotland since. The press view was that his voice had deteriorated meantime.

The tenor Iver M'Kay (spelling of which varies) was also a well-known figure.

Unusually for today, at any rate, the concert began with a curtain-raiser. This was an ode by Hubert Parry called St Cecilia's Day, for soprano, bass and chorus.

Performance DatesMessa da Requiem 1891

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St Andrew's Hall | Glasgow

29 Jan, 19.30

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