Tonbridge Philharmonic Society and the Royal Philharmonic Society hosted a very enjoyable Verdi Requiem Workshop on Saturday 14 May.
Verdi’s Requiem is probably the most frequently performed major choral work composed since the compilation of Mozart’s Requiem, and has been described as “an opera in ecclesiastical costume” .
The Requiem is a musical setting of the Catholic funeral mass but contains all the colour and complexity one would expect from the composer of a great many fabulous operas including La Traviata, Tosca, Rigoletto, Otello and Aida. The piece contains dramatic contrasts, vigorous rhythms and sublime melodies and is a firm favourite with audiences worldwide.
It has been performed by Tonbridge Philharmonic Society on many occasions since the Society was founded in 1946. We had intended to showcase the work for the celebration of 75 years of the Society, but sadly Covid put paid to our plans. However, we are delighted to confirm that Verdi’s Requiem will be part of TPS’s 75 years plus 1 celebrations this year.
It was an extra treat for the Society that we were able to begin the rehearsal process last weekend, with many singers visiting us from other local choirs, at the joint TPS/ Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) workshop focussing on this great work. With about 60 singers attending, the afternoon unfolded under the direction of our wonderful Music Director Naomi Butcher, with Jong Gyung Park as accompanist and with our guest, the world renowned soprano Anna Patalong singing some of the exquisite arias from the Requiem mass.
The afternoon was greatly enjoyed by all who took part and we hope will lead to many new singers joining the ranks of the TPS choir or swelling our audience when we perform Verdi’s Requiem in the Chapel of St Augustine, Tonbridge School Chapel on 19 November 2022. Anna Patalong was so excited about taking part in the workshop that she has agreed to sing the Soprano solo part in our concert in November!
Josephine Willoughby (TPS Marketing Team)
“The Royal Philharmonic Society – which has done much to celebrate classical music-making nationwide for 200 years – is newly setting out to meet and shine a light on the UK’s extraordinary range of non-professional choirs and orchestras. As Tonbridge has both, it seemed the perfect place to start. We want fellow music-makers in places like Tonbridge to feel more connected to the profession, so we brought star soprano Anna Patalong, to sing with the choir, and share her personal tips and insights on how to perform. It was so heartening to see how warmly the choir welcomed her, and how singing with her really brought out the best in their own voices. We filmed parts of the day so the choir can use the footage to rouse more recruits locally, and we too will share it on our website to generate greater awareness and pride for the wonderful music-making to be found in Tonbridge.”
James Murphy, Chief Executive, Royal Philharmonic Society
For over 200 years, the RPS has been at the heart of music, creating opportunities for musicians to excel, and championing the vital role that music plays in all our lives.
It all began in 1813 when a group of musicians set out to raise awareness of their work and established a series of orchestral concerts in London. The Society’s performances attracted world-class artists including Mendelssohn and Wagner, and it commissioned exhilarating new music for an eager public to hear: most famously, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In its founding gesture, the Society created a lasting culture. Other orchestras found their footing and their music resounds across Britain today.
200 years later, the Society – a registered charity – continues to celebrate and empower musicians who, like our founders, strive to enrich society with all that they do. Through our programme of grants, commissions, courses and performance opportunities, we help many performers and composers overcome barriers to progress and fulfil their potential. Through the annual RPS Awards, we celebrate musical accomplishments UK-wide and tell an important story of what music-makers do for the benefit of the nation. Through RPS Membership and our new range of talks and events, we aim to cultivate national pride and curiosity in classical music. Through all our endeavours, we are dedicated to proving classical music’s rightful and powerful place in society.
If you’re a classical music-lover, we warmly welcome you to join the Royal Philharmonic Society to further your interest and help us in our mission to support, protect and celebrate classical music-making in the UK.