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Saturday, April 21
8 p.m.
Hill Auditorium

Verdi Requiem

pre-concert lecture: 7 pm at Hill Auditorium

Program Notes

Special Guests:

One of the questions I ask every performer is what was their first experience with the piece they are performing with the A2SO.  I share this special story Indra shared with me.


“My very first Messa da  Requiem was at Carnegie Hall with the then New York Choral Society and John Goodwin was the conductor at the time.  I was sick as a dog!!!   I was in the emergency room the night before receiving breathing treatments for my very bad asthma. Thanks Mr. Pollen!!!!  It was May of 1999 and I had lost my mother earlier that year which meant both my parents were gone and they both were going to miss out not only my debut at the Met that year but also my debut at Carnegie Hall.  At least I thought... So we get to the end of the piece with the 10-minute soprano solo with choir and orchestra.   I start...!   I had this energy flowing through me of excitement, anxiousness, joy, sadness, gratefulness all wrapped up in a huge ball in the pit of my stomach. Then we arrive at the a capella section of my solo. "Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. Et lux per petua luceat eis."  Which translates into " Eternal rest give to them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them." As the brass section plays an "F" in perfect octaves which sets up the a cappella section my heart stops racing and even calm comes over me and I look up and see the spirits of my mother and father standing right there on the second tier of Carnegie Hall.  As I see them I am elevated at least three feet off the ground and I sang the entire section to them. As I rang out the high B flat to end that section I see them exit as if my B flat was floating them right back up to heaven.  It was the most surreal experience I have ever had in my life but what better way to start a career with the knowledge of knowing the two people who not only created you but nurtured you and groomed you for success gave their stamp of approval.   And that was my first experience with the Verdi Requiem.

I am very much looking forward to being in Michigan again and working with the Ann Arbor Symphony for the first time. “

Indra Thomas

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