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Pacific Symphony Dives Into New Year with Mozart's REQUIEM, Now thru 2/3

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Pacific Symphony dives into the New Year with gusto by exploring Mozart's "Requiem"-one of the most enigmatic pieces ever composed, mainly due to the myths and controversies surrounding it. Mozart's "Requiem," which was left unfinished at the time of the composer's death, now enjoys an elevated status as one of the most magnificent achievements in sacred music. It is therefore a subject ripe for the second Music Unwound concert of the Symphony's season, as Music Director Carl St.Clair and the orchestra dissect the master composer and his deathbed composition, which (ironically) was written for a stranger, yet in The End became the composer's own requiem. In addition to providing a probing look inside the composer and his final work, this concert examines Mozart's desire to create "some higher form of Church music."

Featuring four world-class vocalists, soprano-Sharla Nafziger, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, tenor Brian Stucki, bass-baritone Derrick Parker-and the angelic voices of the Pacific Chorale, the program also includes Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music, Fantasia in F Minor for solo organ, featuring organist Jung-A Lee, Ave verum corpus, plus, excerpts from and the Overture to "The Magic Flute." Taking place tonight through Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 3, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the concert includes a preview talk at 7 p.m. and a post-concert talkback with Symphony advisor Joseph Horowitz and Maestro St.Clair. Tickets are $25-$112; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit PacificSymphony.org.

Then, on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m., Classical Connections further investigates why Mozart's deathbed composition is considered one of the most sublime accomplishments in classical music. In addition to Mozart's "Requiem," the program includes the composer's Fantasia in F Minor for solo organ, featuring organist Jung-A Lee and Ave verum corpus. Led by Maestro St.Clair, as he provides insightful commentary to the composer and his works, Pacific Symphony is joined by soprano Nafziger, mezzo-soprano Mentzer, tenor Stucki, bass-baritone Parker and the sublime voices of the Pacific Chorale. Tickets for this concert are $25-$95. For more information about this concert or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit PacificSymphony.org.

And in preparation for the concerts, don't miss the screening of the 1984 feature film, "Amadeus," which tells the indelible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through flashbacks by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri (confined at the time to an insane asylum). The film is being shown in partnership with the Newport Beach Film Festival on Monday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. at the Regency Lido Theater in Newport Beach. This is a free event-first come, first served. The story is a variation of Alexander Pushkin's play "Mozart i Salieri" (1830), in which the composer Salieri recognizes the genius of Mozart but thwarts him out of envy. The film was nominated for 53 awards and received 40, including eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), four BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globes and a Directors Guild of America award. In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked "Amadeus" 53rd on its "100 Years... 100 Movies" list.

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