Britten War Requiem

The Worcester Chorus, Salisbury Singers, Master Singers, Sounds of Stow, and Worcester Children's Chorus will perform Britten's War Requiem

Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 4:00 pm - Mechanics Hall

Pre-concert Talk at 3 PM by Daniel P. Ryan, Director of Choral Activities, Clark University


Britten - War Requiem

Adult: $35.00 - $55.00
Student: $25.00
Youth: $25.00

*all price levels subject to order fees*

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After years of planning, The choruses of Central Massachusetts and Music Worcester are thrilled to present a choral collaboration, the likes of which Worcester has never seen, to perform Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at historic Mechanics Hall.

Under the direction of Chris Shepard, The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester will join forces with The Salisbury Singers, Master Singers of Worcester, Sounds of Stow, and the Worcester Children's Chorus for this presentation. 

Meet Daniel P. Ryan, Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, who will be presenting the Pre-concert Talk for this special performance, which will include historical and musical context, as well as poetry.

Read about the conductor and soloists below:

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Over the last twenty-four seasons, John Daly Goodwin, Music Director Emeritus (1987-2012), has led the New York Choral Society to new musical dimensions as he builds upon an honored fifty-two year tradition of choral excellence. Under his direction, the NYCS has performed in the People's Republic of China, the Czech Republic, Israel, Austria, France, Italy, Greece and Mexico.  Mr. Goodwin has conducted more than ninety concerts around New York City, including forty-two in Carnegie Hall, seven at Lincoln Center, and eleven international concert tours, conducting the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony Broadcasting Orchestra, the Collegium Ducale in Venice, the Orchestre Symphonique Bell'Arte of Paris, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico City, and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. In his most recent guest appearance Mr. Goodwin conducted the Coro Filarmónico Universitario in two November 2011 performances of Carmina Burana.

In addition to his work with the NYCS, Mr. Goodwin serves as President of the New York Choral Consortium, Music Advisor to the September Concert Foundation and as a juror for the annual Ópera San Miguel vocal competition. He has served on the music faculties at New York University and Pace University, and he has also led the Choral Society of the Hamptons, the Westchester Concert Singers, and the Richmond Choral Society in numerous concert series.

Within Mr. Goodwin's extensive repertoire, he has specialized in the music of contemporary American composers. More than half of his concert repertoire includes works by John Adams, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Robert De Cormier, Lukas Foss, George Gershwin, Philip Glass, Morton Gould, Charles Ives, Morton Lauridsen, Stephen Paulus, Conrad Susa, Randall Thompson, and others.


Angelic is the word that has most often been used to describe the silvery, pure, sweet tone of Esther Heideman's vocal artistry.  In 2000, she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Licia Albanese Competition. In 2001, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut singing Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.  These performances were immediately followed by her debut with the New York Philharmonic in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and her European debut with the Prague Radio Symphony, singing in Mahler's Second Symphony.

Esther was raised on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin, and was involved in band, choir and church music from a young age, but never took a serious voice lesson until she was 19.  Originally attending the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire to become a music teacher, it was there that she discovered her true passion for singing and has dedicated her life to it ever since.

Ms. Heideman's career began with her Carnegie Hall debut, singing Handel’s Messiah.  Since this time, she has performed with major orchestras throughout the world such as the US Naval Academy, Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing New Music Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, National Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Cincinnati   Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Boston Baroque, Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra del Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.


The talented and versatile American tenor, Frank Kelley, has performed in concert and opera throughout North America and Europe. His 2014-2015 season includes a return to Florentine Opera in two roles – as Joseph in Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights and in his stage directing debut for Elmer Gantry; as well as a return to Odyssey Opera in Boston as Victorin in Die Tote Stadt.

Frank Kelley appears on the PBS broadcasts of Peter Sellars’ productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. He also has long associations with Boston’s premier concert organizations, including multiple performances of Bach Cantatas with Emmanuel Music under the direction of Craig Smith, Christopher Hogwood, and Seiji Ozawa; St. John Passion with the Handel and Haydn Society and the Orquesta Sinfónica Naciónal de Mexico; St. Matthew Passion with Boston Baroque and Emmanuel Music; Handel’s Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque; recitals of Schubert lieder for Emmanuel Music’s Schubert Series; and Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His other concert appearances include Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite with the St. Louis Symphony; Master of Ceremonies in Queen of Spades with the National Symphony Orchestra; and Mendelssohn’s The First Walpurgis Night with Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Mr. Kelley’s recordings feature him in repertoire spanning ten centuries. They include three Deutsche Harmonia Mundi albums with the ensemble Sequentia: AquitaniaShining Light, and Saints; a Teldec release of Stravinsky’s Renard with Hugh Wolff and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; and Kurt Weill’s Das Kleine Mahagonny with Kent Nagano. His last release was a recording of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry which received a 2012 Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition as well as Best Engineered Album.

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Baritone Craig Irvin brings a vibrant sound and commitment to character to each role he portrays.  Craig recently made role and company debuts with Wolf Trap Opera as the Villains in The Tales of Hoffman and then returned to Wolf Trap in 2012 for Leporello in Don Giovanni. Additionally, he debuted with Minnesota Opera in the world premier of Kevin Puts’ new opera Silent Night, appeared with the Canadian Opera Company as Betto in Gianni Schicchi and covered the role of Simone in A Florentine Tragedy, and joined the cast of Simon Boccanegra with Los Angeles Opera covering the role of Paolo.  The 2013-2014 season brought debuts with both Fort Worth Opera and Cincinnati Opera reprising his Lieutenant Horstmayer in Silent Night, his return to Minnesota Opera as Mandryka in Arabella, and his role debut as Dandini in Pensacola Opera’s La Cenerentola. During the 2014-2015 season, Craig returns to Minnesota Opera as Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, debuts at Utah Opera as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, reprises the role of Lieutenant Horstmayer in Silent Night with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and joins Nashville Opera and Pensacola Opera as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance.

While in residence with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, Craig was seen as Zuniga in Carmen, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sam in A Masked Ball, Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly, Doctor/Professor in Lulu, and Ashby in La fanciulla del West. Additionally, he covered the roles of Bottom, the title role in The Mikado, the title role in Hercules, and Escamillo in Carmen (a role he sang in the student matinee performance). In the 2009-2010 season, he returned for a second year with Lyric Opera of Chicago where his assignments included Angelotti in Tosca as well as covering the roles of Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro and Brander in Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust. Additionally, he was seen with the Knoxville Opera as Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and as a soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra.

Other recent engagements include his debut with Opera Company of Philadelphia as Lt. Horstmayer in Silent Night, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Phoenix Symphony, and a return to Canadian Opera Company as 1st Nazarene and Jochanaan/cover in Strauss’ Salome, his debut with Opera Saratoga performing both Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ramphis in Aida with Pensacola Opera, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Intermountain Opera, Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore with Naples Opera, and Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Des Moines Metro Opera.  A winner of the Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actor Award sponsored by Orlando Opera, Mr. Irvin spent a season with the company as a Resident Artist, and then stayed on with the company a second year as a main stage artist.  During his tenure there he was featured as the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, Abimelech in Samson et Dalilah, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Elder Ott in Susannah, and Angelotti in Tosca.  While in Orlando, Mr. Irvin also sang the role of Gaston in over 700 performances of Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World, MGM.

Other role highlights include Private Willis in Iolanthe with Nashville Opera and Don Alhambra in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers with Opera North.  In the course of his graduate work at The University of Tennessee, he performed with the Knoxville Opera as Pooh Bah in The Mikado, Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, and Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as Reverend Blitch in Susannah and the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the Knoxville Opera Studio.  A native of Iowa, Mr. Irvin completed his undergraduate study at the Simpson College in Indianola under the tutelage of Dr. Robert L. Larsen.

About the Worcester Chorus

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Britten's War Requiem

About the Director

Conductor Chris Shepard

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