Verdi's Requiem - December 2002

The combined talent of Kentish Opera and Bromley Philharmonic Choir performed Verdi's Requiem on Sunday 1st December at the Churchill Theatre. The "Requiem" is acknowledged as one of Verdi's greatest musical achievements, and has been quoted a being as "The best opera that Verdi never wrote".

The combined choir was in the region of 120 voices. Young professional soloists sung the principal parts supported by professional orchestra under the baton of Robyn Sevastos.

It was a great success and raised about £3,000 in aid of the Ripley Development Appeal.


The performance was reviewed by Roy Atterbury:

Opera does justice to Verdi's masterpiece

WHEN Kentish Opera visits the Churchill Theatre it's usually to perform a great opera by Puccini or another operatic composer.

Sometimes, however, the Kentish Opera chorus are given a chance to show off their undoubted talents either in a concert of different choral pieces or, as was the case for their latest visit to the Churchill, to sing a single work.

Joined by the Bromley Philharmonic Choir, the performance of Verdi's Requiem was outstanding. The balance of the two large choirs was perfect while the conductor Robyn Sevastos had such control over the choirs, soloists and orchestra, the result was so professional and eloquent that the occasion was a triumph for everyone involved.

Although the work was composed as a religious mass, it is full of wonderful melodic, soaring themes, quiet moments of meditation very real passion, and other elements that give the Requiem an operatic sense of drama that seems to be perfect for the stage.

Subtle and effective lighting effects gave the performance an even more theatrical aura.

The solo parts were sung by bass Paul Napier-Burrows, tenor David Newman, mezzo-soprano Susannah Self and soprano Adele Mason.

Ms Self exhibited perfect control over a wide range of voice pitches and both the bass and tenor excelled. However, Adele Mason proved to be a soprano of great quality and she brought added brilliance to the performance, especially in the final section Libera me.

ROY ATTERBURY - Kentish Times 12th December 2002