Make Music New York to Present Unique Open Performance of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’

By David Salazar

Make Music New York is set to present a unique version of Mozart’s “Requiem” on June 21, 2023.

The showcase is an open performance in which anyone is invited to join and participate. Leading the charge will be conductor Douglas Anderson and mezzo-soprano Melissa Gerstein. The project is several years in the making with Anderson explaining to OperaWire that the goal was to put together a program that invited singers and groups of all kinds to participate.

“Then the question was, what piece? From my own experience, I know that most dedicated choral singers love to sing the major famous works; so I picked one that always is popular and enjoyable to sing, the Mozart Requiem,” Anderson noted. “So we did that, and more than 100 people joined us. We’ve had over 100 every time since… An added ‘bonus’ to the Mozart Requiem: it’s always appropriate for a yearly concert. We all have someone that we’d like to dedicate our performance to, and it makes the performance a solemn and also enjoyable event.”

However, one thing that became immediately apparent was that people weren’t coming to rehearse, they dropped that option altogether in subsequent showings.

The same thing happened with the orchestra. While Anderson will conduct the Downtown Symphony, other musicians are invited to join without needing to rehearse.

As for soloists?

“We also considered having soloists, but I decided that unless we had some really big names, there were plenty of fine soloists among those singing, so we leave that open, and it’s worked out fine,” he added.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Oculus North Plaza in the Financial District.