Verdi Chorus Returns To Santa Monica
April 13, 2017
The Verdi Chorus continues its 34th season with spring
concerts entitled "All's Fair in Love and War" at the
acoustically-sound First United Methodist Church in Santa
Monica on April 29 and 30.
Their Founding Artistic Director/Conductor Anne Marie
Ketchum and Julliard-trained piano accompanist Laraine
Ann Madden have fashioned the first half of the program
with choral numbers and arias of Vincenzo Bellini's La
Sonnambula, I Puritani, and Act I and the finale of Act II
The second half begins with the famous baritone prologue of
Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, followed by the choral opening in
which the tenor protagonist welcomes the crowd. Then the
duet for Nedda and her secret lover Silvio which has become
an audience favorite.
The concerts conclude with the music of Mascagni and his
beloved Cavalleria Rusticana with it's choral opening and
crown the performance with the popular "Easter Chorus."
Three gifted internationally-known soloists will be
appearing: audience-favorites soprano Shana Blake Hill and
baritone Roberto Perlas Gómez, with tenor Todd Wilander
also returning. Blake Hill had recent successes with
Cincinnati Opera’s production of Daniel Catán’s Florencia
en el Amazones and her latest recording appears on the
Naxos label with a performance of Chinese-American
composer Bright Sheng’s latest work for soprano and
The Phoenix performed with the Seattle Symphony under
Gerard Schwarz. She also recently debuted the same work
with the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton
of Charles Dutoit.
Wilander was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National
Council Auditions and made his Met debut in their most
recent production of Lucia di Lammermoor and returned for
Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Beppe in I
Pagliacci. He has made a specialty of bel canto repertory as
the Duke in Rigoletto and Edgardo in Lucia, both of which he
has sung with the New York City Opera.
The Chorus is also proud to continue with the Apprentice
Singers program that was established in 2015 in which
talented vocal music students at the college level gain the
opportunity to work with the Chorus in rehearsals and sing
operatic music in concert.
Participants in the program for this session are sopranos
Christina Roszhart and Haining Ren, mezzo-soprano Sophie
Patterson, tenor Manfred Anaya, and baritone William
Vallandigham. Each receives a scholarship to provide funds
with which they can broaden their music studies in many
Apprentices who successfully complete the program are
invited back to sing with the Chorus for subsequent sessions.
Further demonstrating the organization’s mission to provide
performance opportunities to young professional singers, 16
highly promising singers are hired as section leaders and
Also known as the Walter Fox Singers, named in memory of a
long-time Chorus and Board member, these singers assist the
Artistic Director, provide direction for their sections in
rehearsals, and have opportunities to perform as featured
singers in performances.
They also perform on occasion independently of the full
Chorus, serving as a showcase for the singers and as
ambassadors for the Verdi Chorus.
Performances of special arias and ensembles have been
presented at venues in Southern California including the
Annenberg Beach House, Broad Stage, Huntington Library,
and Nixon Library.
Priority seating is available for $40, general admission is $30,
seniors are $25, and students aged 25 and under with a valid
ID are $10.
Tickets are available for purchase through the link on their
s homepage at http://www.verdichorus.org or by calling
(800) 838-3006. Concerts are at 7:30 pm on Saturday, April
29 and 2 pm on Sunday, April 30.