Issued: 10 March 2009

VERDIREQUIEM, Fri 20 Mar (7.30pm)

Verdi Requiem Event Info
Britten War Requiem Event Info

For the first time in ten years, The Royal Opera is to visit Birmingham for two concert performances at Symphony Hall in March. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House take up residence at Symphony Hall for two nights, with their dynamic Music Director Antonio Pappano and a glittering line-up of soloists. They will perform Verdi?s Requiem on Friday 20 March and Britten?s War Requiem the following evening (21 March) as part of the Birmingham International Concert Season.

Verdi?s Requiem is a choral masterpiece, considered an opera in all but name, and a superb work in which to hear The Royal Opera, one of the world?s greatest choruses. Celebrated singers Barbara Frittoli, Olga Borodina, Piotr Beczala and Ildar Abdrazakov take the solo roles. The concert is sponsored by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.

Written for the re-consecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962, Britten?s War Requiem is the work of a committed pacifist and mixes poems by war poet Wilfred Owen with the words of the Requiem Mass. No tenor is more closely associated with Britten at the moment than Ian Bostridge, joined by Emma Bell, Simon Keenlyside and the Tiffin Boys? Choir for the Symphony Hall concert.

The Royal Opera rarely performs outside London and last visited Symphony Hall in 1998 for Wagner?s Ring cycle with then Music Director, Bernard Haitink. The occasion met with immense public and critical acclaim and remains a lasting highlight in Symphony Hall?s history.

The Royal Opera performs Verdi?s Requiem on Friday 20 March and Britten?s War Requiem on Saturday 21 March at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Further details from Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or


Notes to Editors

Listings information

Friday 20 March 2009, 7.30pm Symphony Hall
The Royal Opera Chorus
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Antonio Pappano, conductor
Soloists: Barbara Frittoli soprano, Olga Borodina mezzo-soprano, Piotr Beczala tenor, Ildar Abdrazakov bass
6.15pm Free pre-concert talk
Tickets: £5-£50 (with concessions)
Sponsored by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies
Event page:

Saturday 21 March, 7pm, Symphony Hall [please note start time]
The Royal Opera Chorus
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Antonio Pappano, conductor
Soloists: Emma Bell soprano, Ian Bostridge tenor, Simon Keenlyside baritone
Tiffin Boys? Choir
5.45pm Free pre-concert talk
Tickets: £5-£50 (with concessions)
Event page:

The Royal Opera?s last visit to Birmingham took place in October 1998 when Music Director Bernard Haitink performed Wagner?s complete Ring cycle over four nights. A ten-minute standing ovation followed the concluding opera Gotterdammerung and the cycle received the highest critical praise.

Antonio Pappano is now in his seventh season with The Royal Opera. The Verdi Requiem will also be performed at the Royal Opera House on Friday 13 March 2009. The company last performed the work in 1999 at the Royal Festival Hall. Britten?s War Requiem was last performed by The Royal Opera at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2008. Antonio Pappano marked his opening concert as Music Director with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome in 2005 with a performance of this work and has also conducted it in Los Angeles.

Link to Royal Opera House press section:

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).