The Verdi Chorus will pay tribute to three “Women of Passion” and one man who served as the chorus’ board president at its concerts Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1.
The shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. April 30 and 4 p.m. May 1 at the First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th St., Santa Monica.
The chorus will perform excerpts from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Joan of Arc” and Emmerich Kalman’s “Countess Mariza,” as well as “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni. The Mascagni piece is a favorite of Tom Redler, the chorus’ board of directors president emeritus who served as board president for 17 years.
Redler will be honored by the chorus for his service at the concert.
“Tom definitely was a driving force behind our programming for ‘Women of Passion,’” music director and conductor Anne Marie Ketchum said. “Because I knew we’d be honoring him for his remarkable commitment and devotion to the Verdi Chorus at this concert, I asked him what choruses he’d like us to include. And he requested a rich, very emotional and beautiful work – ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ by Pietro Mascagni.”
At the same time, Ketchum said she had yearned to delve more deeply into Verdi’s “Giovanna d’Arco” (Joan of Arc) after the chorus performed a few excerpts from the opera a couple of years ago. “I started listening to the entire opera and realized it was loaded with gorgeous music,” Ketchum recalls. “And then it hit me. I thought, ‘Now is the time.”
The Verdi Chorus will devote the entire first half of the concert to excerpts from the Prologue, Act I and Act II of “Giovanna d’Arco.”
Rounding out the program is the Viennese operetta “Countess Mariza” by Kálmân – the story of a woman whom Ketchum succinctly describes as “splashy and beautiful who sings this wonderful, big aria.”
Guest artists who will join the chorus include soprano Monica Schober; tenor Robert MacNeil; and baritone Joseph Lodato. MacNeil is making a return visit, while Schober and Lodato are performing with the chorus for the first time.
Tickets are $40 for reserved; $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and $10 for students. To purchase tickets, (800) 838-3006, or www.verdichorus.org.