Verdi Chorus to Close Season with “Verdissimo! Plus!”

By Chris Ruel

The Verdi Chorus will finish their season with two performances of “Verdissimo! Plus!” at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica on Apr. 29 & 30, 2023.

Soprano Jessica Tivens-Schneiderman, mezzo-soprano Danielle Marcell Bond, tenor Todd Wilander, and baritone Roberto Perlas Gómez will join the Verdi Chorus, the only choral group in Southern California that focuses on music for opera chorus.

The concert will feature selections from four Verdi operas: “Otello,” “Il trovatore,” “La forza del destino,” and “Un ballo in maschera.” Songs from J. Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” are also on the program.

On the chorus’ website, conductor Anne Ketchum stated, “Our program is filled with wonderful colors and contrasts. I love the storm scene at the beginning of “Otello” in which the chorus goes absolutely crazy, and you can hear the actual storm itself in the music.  The second act finale of “Il trovatore” is simply gorgeous – and this opera includes the Anvil Chorus, which is always great fun. For dessert, what could be sweeter than a little Viennese operetta in the form of Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus?”  This led me to the “plus” in this concert’s title, and I realized I had it – a perfect program, complete with four exceptional guest soloists. Our audiences will even get to hear Todd Wilander sing the lead tenor role in “Un ballo In maschera” before he flies off to New York to cover this role for the Met! We get him first!”