Britten’s War Requiem

Ann Arbor Youth Chorale is honored and thrilled to be participating in the UMS production of Benjamin Britten’s magnificent and evocative “War Requiem” on Saturday, February 16 at 8 pm in Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium.

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Benjamin Britten was commissioned to write his War Requiem for the re-consecration of Britain’s Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed by a Nazi bomb raid in 1940. The lifelong pacifist with deeply humanitarian beliefs had been thinking about writing a work that addressed the bloodshed and sorrow of war for many years, and this work provided his most powerful demonstration of its horror, devastation, and futility.

The War Requiem, dedicated to four of Britten’s friends who were killed during World War II, mixes the Latin words of the Mass for the Dead with poetry of Wilfred Owen, who was killed in action just one week before World War I ended. The work, conducted by Scott Hanoian, has never been performed on a UMS concert, and requires huge forces, including the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, UMS Choral Union, The Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, organ, and a chamber orchestra that accompanies the soloists: soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and baritone Stephen Powell.

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