WHEN this reporter went to visit the Thurrock Community Chorus on a dark evening in January at what was their first rehearsal for Verdi’s Requiem, he did go away thinking that this was very very ambitious and although the dictum remains that a mans reach should exceed his grasp etc, you did wonder…..
On a wonderful warm evening at the High House Production Park in Purfleet, the Thurrock Community Chorus joined the Brighton Festival Chorus, the Orchestre de Picardie and L’Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne as well as a number of soloists, all conducted by Arie van Beek.
Before the main event, the wonderful Jeremy Haneman took the audience through a half hour excerpt piece with members of the orchestra. The back stories and orchestral clips gave the audience an insight into the journey the requiem has been on since 1868. The story of Rafael Schachter is particularly poignant.
For us, this was the first time we have seen the main hall of the Backstage Centre used for a concert such as this and it was a fine auditorium. There was an intensity to this performance as layer upon layer unfolds in a dramatic and emotional cascade.
As a Thurrock reporter, you do keep your eye on the members of the Thurrock Community Chorus who performed beautifully in a piece that was so demanding and took great discipline.
The music cascaded down through chorus and orchestra and into the soloists who punctuated the requiem with magnificent performances.
This whole event, in many ways, was not just about Verdi’s Requiem but said much about where Thurrock sits in 2014. When you stand in the reception beforehand chatting to visionaries who want to bring a film studio to Thurrock then the requiem is a triumph in the midst of the re-birth of a borough.
After the finale and after the curtain calls, an image was shone on the side of the Backstage Centre. A wonderful image to send out a message that Thurrock shouts about culture from the rooftops!
Verdi’s Requiem is on tonight (Friday).
Full details here