West Valley Chorale presents Brahms’ ‘German Requiem’ - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

West Valley Chorale presents Brahms’ ‘German Requiem’

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Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011 5:00 am

The West Valley Chorale, under the direction of Ken Goodenberger, brings Johannes Brahms’ “German Requiem” to the community. 

The piece will be presented in English. Accompanied by orchestra, the 75-member chorale will be joined by dramatic baritone Richard Paul Fink and lyric soprano Carolyn E. Folks. 

Fink, who is acclaimed internationally for his operatic talents, has sung major roles at the Metropolitan Opera as well as with opera companies throughout the world. His musical career was launched in Phoenix with the guidance of Arlyn Brewster, director of the Met Auditions. Twenty-seven years ago he began as a Western Regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. His repertoire now comprises some of the most challenging roles of the baritone canon, such as the title role in Wagner’s “Der fliegende Holländer,” Telramund in Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” Pizarro in Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” the title roles in Verdi’s “Nabucco and Rigoletto,” as well as Iago in “Otello” and others.

Folks, a high lyric soprano, has sung both in opera and as a vocal soloist in chamber works and oratorio throughout the country. In addition to performing, Folks has served on the teaching faculties of Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia and New Mexico State University.

Brahms’ “German Requiem” is a choral piece which, through its lush music, offers comfort to those who must deal with the death of a loved one. Brahms considered it a requiem for “humanity,” because he saw in his masterpiece a message of hope for those who mourn, a message that would bring them to eventual peace of heart. The work is often regarded as Brahms’ greatest choral composition, showcasing his skillful blending of orchestra and voice. 

“Requiem” includes  the hauntingly beautiful “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place.” The performance is funded by a Sundome Performing Arts Association grant received by the chorale in 2010.

The “German Requiem” will be performed at 7 p.m. April 5  at Shepherd of the Hills Methodist Church, 13658 W. Meeker Boulevard, in Sun City West; and at 7 p.m. April 7 at Faith Presbyterian Church, 16000 N. Del Webb Blvd., Sun City. 

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from chorale members or at the door. For advance tickets and information, call 623-214-0761 or go to www.westvalleychoraleaz.org.

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