Recent Concert

Fall 2023
Sat, Nov 18 7:30 PM Sun, Nov 19 4:00 PM

The Verdi Chorus’ 40th Anniversary season continues with its landmark Fall 2023 Concert 40! for two performances only at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica on November 18 and 19. Led by Anne Marie Ketchum, who is celebrating forty consecutive years as Artistic Director of the organization, the Verdi Chorus is the only choral group in Southern California that focuses primarily on the dramatic and diverse music for opera chorus. The program will feature selections from three Verdi operas – Nabucco, Don Carlo, and La Traviata, Saint Saëns’ Samson and Delilah, and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.

Conductor Anne Marie Ketchum says, “This concert is such a landmark event, not only for the chorus and audience members who have been with us from the very beginning, but for new opera enthusiasts we are welcoming for the first time on both sides of the concert stage. It’s remarkable to me that the Verdi Chorus, which began as a group of passionate amateur music lovers in 1983 at the old Verdi Restaurant in Santa Monica, has evolved to a major nonprofit force in the Los Angeles classical music scene. Dedicated to performing opera choruses in concert, the Verdi Chorus is made up of young professional opera singers, serious students of opera and non-professional music lovers from all walks of life. It is diverse in so many ways, including race, age, style, gender, food preferences, religion, favorite color…but the one thing that binds all of these people together is a common love for great classical music and opera, and the desire to make it come alive in concert with the highest standards possible.”

Ketchum continues, “For our 40th anniversary I chose a program that is filled with some of the most beautiful and powerful operatic music written. It will include works from three of Verdi’s masterpieces, most notably, Nabucco and Verdi’s most famous chorus “Va pensiero”, the chorus of the Hebrew slaves. I also chose the opera Samson et Dalila by Saint Saens because it is filled with beautiful reverant music along with some wild irreverent excerpts and of course, the beloved aria “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” which will be sung by mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock. We will also delve into the thrilling world of verismo opera as well. Verismo opera is focused not on mythological figures, or kings and queens, but on the much earthier daily struggles and emotions of men and women, and of the emotionally charged, and sometimes violent situations that can result. We will end our program with selections from the verismo opera that started it all, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. This is especially exciting, as we will present this opera in its entirety on January 20, 2024, yet another landmark for the Verdi Chorus!”

Fall 2023
Concert Program
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
"Gli arredi festivi"
The Chorus
"È l'Assiria una regina"
The Chorus
"S'appressan gl'istanti d'un'ira fatale"
Ms. Makerov, Ms. Babcock, Mr. Boyer, Mr. Gómez, with Christina Kushnick, David Peterson, Manfred Anaya, Adam McCrory and the Chorus
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
"Non pianger, mia compagna"
Ms. Makerov and the Chorus
"Dio, che nell' alma infondere amor..."
Mr. Boyer, Mr. Gómez
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
"Dieu d'Israël!" and "Arrêtez, ô mes Frères!"
Mr. Boyer and the Chorus
"Hymne de joie"
Mr. Gómez and the Men's Chorus
"Voici le printemps"
The Women's Chorus
"Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix"
Ms. Babcock and Mr. Boyer
Act III Finale "Quand tu parlais"
Ms. Babcock, Mr. Boyer, Mr. Gómez and the Chorus
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
"What a joy to be here"
The Chorus
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
"Va pensiero"
The Chorus, soloists, and audience
Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901)
"Libiamo ne'lieti calici"
Ms. Makerov, Mr. Boyer and the Chorus
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
"Gli aranci olezzano"
The Chorus
"Il cavallo scalpita"
Mr. Gómez and the Chorus
"Ah lo vedi, che hai tu detto?"
Ms. Babcock and Mr. Boyer
Laraine Madden, piano
"A casa, a casa, amici" and "Viva il vino spumeggiante"
Mr. Boyer with Ariana Stultz and the Chorus
"Regina Coeli" and "Inneggiamo il Signor"
The Fox Singers, Ms. Makerov with Mr. Boyer, Ms. Babcock, Mr. Gómez and the Chorus
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