Dramatic 'Requiem' by Opera's Verdi


A crowd estimated at 300,000 people took to the streets of Milan when the world's foremost composer of Italian opera died in 1901.  A slightly smaller crowd will gather at the King Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 14th when Dr. Robert E. Lamb leads the Brevard Community Chorus in Giuseppe Verdi's famous, Requiem.  Lamb, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities for Eastern Florida State College, will conduct the 100+ voice adult chorus in a 7:30 PM performance on the King Center's main stage at 3865 N. Wickham  Road in Melbourne, 32935.  Accompanied by select players from the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, the chorus will perform the dramatic work along with featured soloists Rebecca Holbrook-Loar, soprano; Eliza Dopira, alto; Kyle Jones, tenor and Kyle Knappenberger, bass.  General admission tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and active military and $5 for children or college students with valid student identification.  Visit the King Center box office or call  (321) 242-2219.  

Dr. Lamb is pleased to present Verdi's monumental work at the King Center for the Performing Arts.

"This Requiem mass is as exquisite as it is dramatic," said Lamb.  “Verdi didn't write this for the stage, but you'd never know it. It contains some heart pounding musical moments, along with extremely gentle and lovely passages.  When you hear it, you'll recognize that it's a work of art come to life."

The Brevard Community Chorus performs onstage at the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Florida. They accept new members twice yearly.  For audition information or a schedule of their season, visitwww.BrevardCommunityChorus.org

ABOUT THE VERDI REQUIEM – In 1873, Verdi wrote Messa da Requiem, a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass in honor of his close friend Alessandro Manzoni, the famous Italian novelist who had died early that year. The work became known as the Manzoni Requiem or simply, Requiem.  It is one of the few works of Verdi’s that was not written for the stage.  However, the powerful theatrical techniques of his operas can be heard though out the immense work which is deeply moving, and vividly dramatic.  Verdi’s Requiem was first performed at the cathedral in Milan in 1874 on the first anniversary of Manzoni's death with the composer conducting an orchestra of one hundred and a choir of 120 voices.  Verdi conducted several more performances; all were enthusiastically received by the audiences.  Today,his Requiem is one of the most frequently performed major choral works.  Music from his operas and Requiem can be heard in film scores and on television, radio and the internet. Excerpts from the Requiem were featured at the memorial service for Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and more recently in a commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl.   From program notes compiled by Jackie Hitzig, Cocoa Beach, Florida.

ABOUT GIUSEPPE VERDI – (1813-1901) is considered the greatest composer of Italian opera.  In his career (which spanned over 50 years), he wrote more than 25 operas and brought Italian opera to a point of perfection and popularity that it has never since surpassed.  Verdi was one the few composers in history whose genius was recognized while he was still alive, and he was very successful financially.  He paid close attention to his financial contracts and made sure he was appropriately compensated as his popularity increased.  Verdi invested in land and was a very successful farmer. He was a philanthropist and even had a short career in Italian politics. In spite of humble beginning and personal tragedies, Verdi became one of most influential and successful composers of the 19th century.  His music is performed more often than any other composer worldwide. Verdi’s operas have become staples of the global operatic repertory with thousand of performances every year. From program notes compiled by Jackie Hitzig, Cocoa Beach, Florida.


Rebecca Holbrook-Loar, Soprano

Rebecca, a soprano and native of Vero Beach, Florida, received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and her Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Rebecca has performed with the Aspen Opera Theatre, Bronx Opera and Portland Opera Repertory Theater and has sung with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. Rebecca has appeared as Bertha in Il Barbiere di Sivilglia, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, and Herself in The Proposal. She has also performed many concert works including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, Schubert’s Mass in G, Haydn’s Missa Brevis, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Dubois’s Seven Last Words of Christ. Rebecca made her debut with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in February 2008 as Annina in La Traviata. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, where she is on the voice faculty at the Douglass Anderson School of the Arts.

Eliza Dopira, Alto -- Eliza Dopira has been praised for her “vibrant tone” (Cecilia Porter, Washington Post) as well as her “thoughtful phrasing” and “shining work” (Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun). Eliza Dopira is a native of Brevard, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in voice and opera performance diploma from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Eliza has performed opera roles with Sarasota Opera, Lake George Opera of Saratoga Springs, and Washington Summer Opera. An accomplished concert artist, she was chosen to perform solos in concert with the National Symphony, River Cities Symphony, Bryn Mawr Chorale, Johns Hopkins Choral Society and Peabody Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she performed solos with Brevard Symphony Orchestra and Space Coast Symphony. Aside from her busy singing career, Eliza is a full time instructor at Florida Institute of Technology and maintains a private voice studio.

Kyle T. Jones, Tenor

Lyric tenor Kyle Jones excels as a diverse and engaging interpreter of both new works and seasoned classics.  Media reviews have called him “splendid” (Tallahassee Democrat), “impressive” (Dallas Morning News), “emotional…equal parts sweetness and swagger” (Jacksonville Daily News), and “a voice to enjoy with every note” (Greenville News).  He has performed several roles with Furman University Opera, Florida State Opera, Dallas Opera, The Living Opera, Piedmont Men’s Chorale, Tallahassee Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and the Jacksonville Masterworks Chorale.  Signature roles include Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte,  the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring, Nanki-Poo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, and Don Curzio/Don Basilio in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.  In addition, Mr. Jones has sung many of the great oratorio works such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Gounod’s Messe de St. Cecila.  Most recently, Mr. Jones has been a guest soloist with the Space Coast Symphony and Brevard Community Chorus.  He has also performed with many ensembles in the Dallas/Fort Worth area including the UNT a cappella choir, UNT Collegium Singers, Orpheus Chamber Singers, The Orchestra of New Spain, and the Denton Bach Society.  Mr. Jones is a graduate of Furman University, attended Florida State University for voice performance and the University of North Texas in Denton for a Master’s degree in choral conducting.  A composer of sacred choral music, Mr. Jones is the director of Brevard's premier choral ensemble, the Indialantic Chamber Singers and the chorus master for the Space Coast Symphony and Riverside Chamber Orchestra.

Kyle Knappenberger, Bass

Brevard County native Kyle Knappenberger grew up in Rockledge, Florida. After attending Cocoa Beach High’s International Baccalaureate Program, he earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. He won the prestigious Giffin Vocal Competition and Stetson Concerto competition, and performed in a number of university and professional concerts. After graduating, he attended the Seagle Music Program in Schroon Lake, New York and sang with a select group of young musicians as Big Jule in Guys and Dolls and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. Mr. Knappenberger then attended the University of Houston for his Master of Music degree. He performed widely with the Moores Opera Program. He sang numerous roles, including Lord Sidney in Il Viaggio a Reims, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring. He also had the high honor of performing roles in the nationwide premieres of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry and the late Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, the latter being the third production in the world, after Los Angeles Opera and the Vienna Staatsoper. Mr. Knappenberger has also performed extensively in oratorio settings, as the bass soloist in Faure’s Requiem, Bach’s St. John Passion, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and other works.  Since returning to Brevard County, Mr. Knappenberger has performed extensively with a number of musical groups. With the Space Coast Symphony, he has sung in concerts of Handel's Messiah, New Year's with Three Tenors, and Verdi's Requiem. He sings the bass solo in North Stuart Baptist's annual Messiah performance in December. With Suntree United Methodist Church, he has sung in Bach's BWV 4 Christ lag in Todesbanden, Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio, and presented the role of King Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. With the Brevard Community Chorus, he has performed solos in Vaughan Williams’ Hodie, Schubert's Mass in E-flat Major, Handel's Messiah, and the title role in the spring 2013 performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Mr. Knappenberger currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Florida Institute of Technology.


The Brevard Community Chorus is an all-volunteer musical organization serving South and Central Brevard.  The members meet weekly for the purpose of rehearsing and performing the larger works of the choral repertoire. The Brevard Community Chorus is at home in the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne. In addition to touring in Europe, the Chorus will occasionally join other choral organizations to perform such works as Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Haydn’s The Creation.

Dr. Robert E. Lamb is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and a member of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at Eastern Florida State College. The North Carolina native attended Wake Forest University and later the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned a Master of Music in Choral Conducting.  He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati, Conservatory of Music. Lamb was the 2006 recipient of the Julius Herford Prize, awarded by the American Choral Directors Association for his post-graduate work concerning French Baroque composer, Michel-Richard de Lalande.  More information about the community chorus may be found on www.BrevardCommunityChorus.org or by calling 321-433-7629.  The chorus also invites public interaction and "likes" on its Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/BrevardCommunityChorus.

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