Boise Philharmonic to present “Verdi’s Requiem”

November 11, 2013, 3:15 pm

Tickets are now on sale for the Boise Philharmonic’s November 22nd-23rd concerts, with the Philharmonic Celebrating Giuseppe Verdi’s 200th birthday in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, his interpretation of the Catholic mass for the dead.  The concert will be conducted without intermission by Robert Franz and includes the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale, the College of Idaho Chorus and four vocal soloists.

“Verdi’s Requiem,” at 8 p.m., November 22-23.  Tickets start at $19.99.  Groups of ten or more receive a 10% discount.

  • Friday, November 22nd, 8 PM, Brandt Center (Swayne Auditorium), Nampa
  • Saturday, November 23rd, 8 PM, Morrison Center, Boise

Verdi’s monumental funeral mass, Requiem for Orchestra, Double Choir and Vocal Soloists, honors the death of his longtime friend, Italian patriot Alessandro Manzoni. Too aggrieved to attend the funeral, Verdi conducted the debut performance of his Requiem one year later, in 1874, at the Cathedral of San Marco in Milan, Italy. Verdi’s intent was to compose this piece in his signature grand operatic style.  He employed vigorous rhythms, stirring melodies, and dramatic contrasts to enhance the powerful emotions evoked by the liturgical text. Over 200 musicians and vocalists are required to perform the work.

Verdi’s Requiem was an immediate success with the public. However, critics shredded it, complaining it was too “tawdry”, “sensational”, “cheap”, “irreligious and melodramatic” for a Catholic mass.  Now regarded as a masterpiece of orchestral choral music, Requiem captures the melodic beauty, theatrical genius, universal truths, and human passions of Verdi, harking to Italy’s great operatic era.

Dies Irae, the best known and recognizable movement of the work, with its jaw-dropping rhythms and powerful melodies, has been widely used in the media; most recently in a UK auto advertisement.

About Giuseppe Verdi:
October 10th 2013 marked the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth, and orchestras worldwide are celebrating with performances of his works.
Although his career began unimpressively, Verdi composed 30 operas during his 55-year career.  Born the same year as Richard Wagner, who conquered all of Europe, save Italy, with his intellectual music, Verdi was the musical high-priest of Italy.

About the guest soloists:
•    Alla Markovich:  The Russian soprano received her doctorate from the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in 2002. She is a laureate of the 1999 Riga International Vocal Competition. As member of the Rimsky-Korsakov Opera and Ballet Theater in St. Petersburg from 1998 to 2003, Markovich sang the roles of Mimi in La Boheme, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, and Micaela in Carmen.  She has performed extensively in San Diego and New York. She is also a member of Opera Idaho.

•    Elizabeth DeShong:  The mezzo-soprano has earned high praise in both North America and Europe for her “well-cultivated and “big, bright and pleasing voice.

“…most memorably, Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia, her mezzo-soprano creamy and her acting memorable in slapstick and heartache.”
—The New York Times – Zachary Woolfe, October 2013

She triumphed in the summer of 2012 at the Glyndebourne Festival in the title role of Rossini’s  La Cenerentola. The Guardian declared “…this is, quite simply, one of the great operatic performances. It is dominated by DeShong, whose voice combines a contralto opulence with blazing top notes and some of the most staggering coloratura you will ever hear…” In the current season, Ms. DeShong returns to Lyric Opera Chicago where she will be heard as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, a role she performed to great success at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2010. She makes her company debut with Michigan Opera Theatre as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and will be heard with The Cleveland Orchestra in performances of Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs  and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

  • Christopher Bengochea:  The Basque-American tenor began his prize winning operatic career at Montana State University and the University of Montana.  After winning third prize at the Internationale Societa Concertistica Vocal Competition in Santa Margherita-Ligura, Italy, Bengochea continued his studies with renowned Italian tenor Gianni Raimondi, who described Bengochea as “having a voice most brilliant and romantic, that will become very important in the future of opera”. Bengochea’s operatic repertoire includes Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ruggero in La Rondine, and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana. He has performed extensively with national and regional opera companies throughout the U.S. and Canada including Opera Idaho, Opera Canada, Opera San Jose, and the Tigulio Festival Opera.
  • Adam Cioffari:  The Young American bass-baritone recently completed a two-year tenure with the Opera Studio of the Komische Oper of Berlin where he sang in productions of Carmen, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Les Contes d’Hoffman, Salome, La Traviata, The Love for Three Oranges, and Rigoletto.  He will debut with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago singing Papageno in Die Zauberflote next year.  This season he is performing the role of Brander in La Damnation de Faust with the Utah Symphony, and the Tucson Symphony.

Ticket holders are invited to enjoy a complimentary, pre-concert lecture about the evening’s music, one hour prior to the concert, in the concert hall, with Boise Philharmonic musicians.

The public is invited to meet the guest artists and conductor the Friday before each concert at noon, hosted by the Honorable Steve Trott, at the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, 516 S. 9th St., Boise, ID  83702.

Tickets and more information:  Single tickets start at $19.99 in Nampa.  Pro-rated 4 or 5 concert packages are available.  Call 344-7849 or visit

About Boise Philharmonic and the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale:
As Idaho’s premier performing arts organization, the Boise Philharmonic performs for more than 50,000 people annually in concerts at the Morrison Center, NNUs Brandt Center, in schools, and smaller recital halls and venues throughout the region. With more than seventy members, it performs 16 Classic Series concerts per season. The Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale has engaged audiences since 1975 with stirring symphonic masterpieces. The Chorale boasts more than 125 volunteer vocalists from the Treasure Valley community.   

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