A special musical treat awaited a packed house at the Cleland Theatre Saturday with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and special guests for the Ringing in the Season concert. Mark Brett/Western News

Video: The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra honours Armistice Day with Verdi

The orchestra will perform Verdi's Requiem for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is honouring the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day by performing Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem.

Rosemary Thompson, music director describes the piece as a bucket list moment for her.

“Because of the deep feeling of the text and the brilliance of the music I think that the choruses, when you put this many choruses together and the four soloists and all the different textures are so satisfying,” said Thompson.

In her 12th season, Thompson will lead 150 chorus members, 65 musicians in the orchestra including eight trumpets and four opera singers.

Featured soloists for this performance represent Canadian operatic talent: soprano Tracy Cantin. mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal, tenor Justin Stolz, and baritone Justin Welsh.

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The Requiem, the traditional musical setting of the Mass for the Dead transforms in Verdi’s hands into what has been called an ‘opera in disguise’, at times terrifying and undeniably transcendent. One of the most enduring compositions of its kind, Verdi composed the piece in memory of a dear friend and public hero, poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni. The progression of the piece tells the ultimate dramatic story, from profound loss at the start, to sheer terror at what lies ahead on judgment day in the Dies Irae, followed by a final plea for redemption.

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“I think that the arts bring a different level of appreciation of reflection and in this piece some moments of sheer terror,” said Thompson.

The performance will travel through the Okanagan opening at the Kelowna Community Theatre Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., then will move to Penticton Nov. 10 at the Cleland Community Theatre and will end in Vernon Nov. 11 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

For ticket information visit www.okanagansymphony.com

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