On May 21, Dean Murry Sidlin and about 130 students and faculty of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music will perform Sidlin’s concert/drama, “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin,” at the Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia that inspired the piece. The performance will feature Sidlin conducting the Catholic University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, and Robert Shafer, B.M. 1967, M.M. 1968, conducting The Washington Chorus. The concert integrates dramatic reenactments, archival film, videotaped interviews with camp survivors and Verdi’s score and text.
The music school last performed “Defiant Requiem” in April 2004 at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The piece is a tribute to Jewish conductor Rafael Schächter, who led a chorus of prisoners in 16 performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the Terezin concentration camp in 1943 and 1944.
Presented as part of the 61st annual Prague Spring International Music Festival, CUA’s concert will be the festival’s only performance by a university. On the next day, May 22, CUA’s Rome Trio (faculty members Marilyn Neeley, Jody Gatwood and Michael Mermagen), along with soprano Sharon Christman and pianist Ivo Kaltchev, will perform for friends of the music school who will travel with the performers to Terezin.
Alumni who are interested in going on the Terezin trip can call Matthew Adelizzi at 202-319-5414 for more details.