Auditions Announced for Verdi Chorus Fall Concert in Santa Monica

Auditions Announced for Verdi Chorus Fall Concert in Santa MonicaContinuing its celebratory 35th Anniversary Season, The Verdi Chorus (Anne Marie Ketchum, Founding Artistic Director), announced today that auditions will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica for The Verdi Chorus Fall 2018 Concert.

The Verdi Chorus prepares for concerts with rehearsals that take place every Monday night. There, an amazing thing happens as over 50 singers gather together from every walk of life to become the Verdi Chorus. This wide swath of people includes singers from 22 to 80 who come from a variety of professions, and yet have one thing in common: the desire to sing side by side each week and delve into the rich, dramatic world of opera. They in turn are joined by opera stars at the beginning of their careers, and college students who have just begun to realize their operatic gifts, as all of them become one under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum. Each rehearsal is like a vocal master class.

Raising their voices together they become everything from the revelers at the doomed wedding of Lucia di Lammermoor to the lively entourage of renowned courtesan Violetta Valéry, to even the unruly crowd found inside the inn at Hornachuelos one fateful night.

Ketchum says, "The Verdi Chorus is a group of passionate amateur and professional music lovers from many walks of life who love to sing and are devoted to performing opera choruses in concert. If you are an opera lover and want to get more inside the music and all that great operatic drama, if you want to learn more about the art form, or if you just love to sing and are looking for a good musical family to harmonize with one night a week, come join us!"

Positions are open for all voice types. To request an audition for Saturday, August 25th please visit www.verdichorus.org/audition-for-chorus/ or call 661-418-7882.

Celebrating 35 years, the Verdi Chorus was founded in 1983 at the Verdi Restaurant in Santa Monica. When the restaurant closed in 1991, the Verdi Chorus continued. In 1999, the chorus was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its repertoire includes over 300 choruses from 81 operas in seven languages. Under the continuous direction of Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum, the chorus presents four concerts each year as well as other collaborative events.

Further demonstrating the organization's mission to provide performance opportunities to young professional singers, fourteen highly promising singers are hired as section leaders and rehearsal coaches. Known as the Walter Fox Singers, named in memory of a long-time Chorus and Board member, these singers assist the Artistic Director, provide direction for their sections in rehearsals, and have opportunities to perform as featured singers in performances. The Walter Fox Singers also perform on occasion independently of the full Chorus, serving as a showcase for the singers and as ambassadors for The Verdi Chorus. Performances of special arias and ensembles have been presented at venues in Southern California including the Annenberg Beach House, the Huntington Library, and the Nixon Library.

The Chorus is also proud to continue with the Apprentice Singers program that was established in 2015 in which talented vocal music students at the college level gain the opportunity to work with the Chorus in rehearsals and sing operatic music in concert. Each receives a scholarship to provide funds with which they can broaden their music studies. Apprentices who successfully complete the program are invited back to sing with the Chorus for subsequent sessions.

Performance times for the The Verdi Chorus Fall 2018 Concert are Saturday, November 10th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, November 11th at 2 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica, located at 1008 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403.

Music Director and Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum has been the conductor of the Verdi Chorus since its inception in 1983. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Choral Conducting and a Master's degree in Voice Performance from California State University, Northridge, where she studied choral conducting with John Alexander and served as his assistant conductor. As a singer, she has appeared internationally and is well known for her performances of contemporary art music, vocal chamber music, solo recitals, and opera. She has made several recordings of contemporary music. Among her more recent activities Ms. Ketchum was the Stage Director for the Metropolitan Opera National Council - Western Region Showcase Concerts in Palm Springs for five years. She helped create This and My Heart: A Portrait of Emily Dickinson in Text and Song, a concert/theater piece which she co-wrote and performed with actress Linda Kelsey and pianist Victoria Kirsch. This was presented as part of Grand Performances in Los Angeles and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Department of Los Angeles. Anne Marie Ketchum's latest recording, a piece entitled Recordatio for soprano and ten instruments, was written for her by Aurelio de la Vega, and was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2017.

Accompanist Laraine Ann Madden has garnered acclaim as one of the most sensitive and experienced collaborating artists in the Los Angeles area. Trained in the Bay Area, she made her solo debut with the Oakland Symphony at age 13 performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488. Ms. Madden studied Accompanying at the University of Southern California with its pioneer teacher, Gwendolyn Koldofsky and has accompanied in the master classes of Martin Katz, Geoffrey Parsons, Giorgio Tozzi, Martial Singher, Joan Dornemann and Peter Pears. She has served as "repetiteur" accompanist under conductors Simon Rattle, Christoph Perrick and Richard Buckley, and has appeared in concert with singers associated with New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Los Angeles Opera including Alan Titus, Rod Gilfry, Erie Mills, Young Mi Kim and Ealynn Voss. Recent engagements include performing on the Jacaranda Concert Series and with the Walter Fox Singers at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, the Huntington Library in Pasadena, and the Richard Nixon Library for the Marshall B. Ketchum University Shared Visions Gala. This is her eighteenth year as collaborator with the Verdi Chorus.

ABOUT THE VERDI CHORUS

The Verdi Chorus is a Southern California nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting opera choruses in concert and to providing career development opportunities for young professional singers. As the only choral group in Southern California that focuses primarily on the dramatic and diverse music of the opera chorus, the Verdi Chorus gives talented amateur singers the unique opportunity to sing side-by-side with professional singers in rehearsals leading up to performances held to the highest artistic standards. Under the direction of its remarkable Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum, each rehearsal is like a vocal master class.

The Verdi Chorus was founded in 1983 at the Verdi Restaurant in Santa Monica. When the restaurant closed in 1991, the Verdi Chorus continued. In 1999, the chorus incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Under the continuous direction of Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum, the chorus presents four concerts each year as well as other collaborative events. Its repertoire includes over 300 choruses from 81 operas in seven languages.

For more information visit: www.verdichorus.org.

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