Saturday, 31 March 2012

Verdi Requiem - March 31st 2012

Verdi – Missa di Requiem

The Royal Free Singers accompanied by the Orchestra of London and professional soloists performed Verdi’s Requiem in Eton College School Hall on 31st March.

Audience comments:
'Stupendous performance'
'Really raised the roof!' 
'So uplifting!'
'A particularly beautiful performance by soprano, Susan Piggott' 
'Thank you and the Royal Free Singers for your splendid concert on Saturday,  I came with a co-Trustee of the Royal Albert Institute Trust, and we both enjoyed it enormously, and want to thank you all.  It is a wonderful and ambitious work to put on, and you certainly did it justice! '

Verdi, an ardent Italian nationalist, composed it in memory of the Italian poet, novelist and national hero Alessandro Manzoni, whose death in 1873 had greatly affected him. Although its first performance was in a liturgical setting (in St. Mark’s Church, Milan on the first anniversary of Manzoni’s death), it is unashamedly theatrical in style, described by a contemporary, the eminent conductor and pianist Hans von B├╝low, as ‘Verdi’s latest opera, in church vestments’, and following its first concert performance at La Scala Opera House, it became an overnight sensation, with performances throughout Europe soon following. Its British premiere in May 1875 in the Albert Hall, was conducted by Verdi himself.

The Royal Free Singers gratefully acknowledge the support of
The Prince Philip Trust and the Royal Albert Institute

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mahler - Symphony No. 2

Eton College School Hall
Conductor, Leon Gee
Some 60 or so members of the Royal Free Singers joined the Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra and singers from the London College of Music to sing the last movement in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 at Eton College School Hall on March 10th.

The audience reaction at the conclusion of the piece was testament to the power of the performance, and the inspiration of Leon Gee, the conductor. Some of the comments afterwards were: 'Quite the most moving concert I've been to in years - I was moved to tears in several places' and 'Simply magnificent!'

It was a special occasion for the Davies family, with all four members on the stage: Eifion and Sharron on Double Bass, Ali playing Oboe and Cor Anglais, and Marilyn singing alto with the choir!

We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with Leon, whose charisma and energy encouraged us to give of our best.