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St Albans Symphony Orchestra join ing Watford Philharmonic at Abbey

PUBLISHED: 15:26 01 March 2012

SASO conductor Bjorn Bantock and Terry Edwards, conductor of the Watford Philharmonic, with the score of Verdi's Requiem

SASO conductor Bjorn Bantock and Terry Edwards, conductor of the Watford Philharmonic, with the score of Verdi's Requiem


ST Albans Symphony Orchestra and the Watford Philharmonic Society are joining forces to perform Verdi’s Requiem, the most famously spine-tingling of all settings of the Latin funeral mass, in St Albans Abbey next Saturday, March 10.

The Italian composer, although agnostic himself, vividly depicts the desperate pleas of mankind for salvation in face of terrifying forces unleashed on Judgement Day.

Sometimes described as Verdi’s greatest opera, the scoring for soloists, chorus and large orchestra is intensely dramatic.

The soloists taking part have strong connections with the world of opera. Tenor James Edwards has appeared at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera as well as theatres in Paris and Salzburg as part of a growing international career, while bass-baritone James Oldfield holds the 2010 Leonard Ingrams Award from Garsington Opera and has made regular concert appearances with the major London orchestras.

Elizabeth Sikora, mezzo soprano, is a frequent soloist at Covent Garden but has also sung at La Scala, Milan, in Geneva’s Grand Theatre and at the Netherlands National Opera.

Soprano Kiera Lyness – charged with performing the Requiem’s moving final Libera me – has also performed solo at Covent Garden where she is a member of the chorus and is part of the successful House8 octet formed by Royal Opera singers.

The St Albans performance of Verdi’s masterpiece will be under the baton of Bjorn Bantock – the first time he has conducted a major choral work with the orchestra since becoming its principal conductor 18 months ago.

The performance begins at 7.30pm and tickets at £20, £16, £12 and £8 (£1 under 18s, £5 students) are available from SASO’s ticket secretary on 01727 857422, the Abbey box office on 01727 890256 or via

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