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Opera Star Frederica von Stade to Join Liz Callaway and More in STREET REQUIEM at Carnegie Hall

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The New York premiere of the award winning STREET REQUIEM will debut at Carnegie Hall at 8pm on Saturday September 24th in A Concert of Hope.

Composed in 2014 by Australian's Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch, this iconic work has been performed to international acclaim and will be presented by Sing The World tours featuring a massed choir of 200 singers from Australia, USA and Europe and stars of opera and broadway.

Legendary star of opera Frederica von Stade will join with Tony award winning Broadway star Liz Callaway, Daniel Rodriguez, The Highland Divas and Matthew Lee Robinson and the Sing The World Choir conducted by Dr Jonathon Welch AM and Dr Kathleen McGuire.

The Carnegie Hall performance will herald the fifteenth performance of STREET REQUIEM and was awarded a Special Citation for "dignifying the homeless through song" by The American Prize in 2015.

STREET REQUIEM is a 45-minute cantata, in a contemporary setting of the traditional sung requiem with additional English, African and Arabic lyrics and a modern setting of the Latin text.

"Performances of STREET REQUIEM have not only helped our communities to heal and remember those who have died innocent and homeless on our streets, the concerts have also benefited the community, particularly welfare agencies in Australia and the United States" said Dr Welch.

These have included Welch's own School of Hard Knocks in Australia; Singers of the Streets (SOS), that Kathleen McGuire founded in San Francisco; the Dallas Street Choir and the Starbucks Chorus in San Francisco.

"We are very honoured to be able to support the wonderful work of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and their partner organisations, who tirelessly support the homeless in New York every day" said Dr Welch.

A Concert of Hope will also raise funds for a number of charities supporting those facing homelessness including Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Safe Horizon, www.picturethehomeless.org, MidnightRun.org and the Ali Forney Center.

STREET REQUIEM aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to many communities struggling to come to terms with street violence and a loss of safety on our streets - to give these souls a beautiful, resonant voice within our community and a place of remembrance.

While at times deeply moving and reflective, STREET REQUIEM is an essentially optimistic work that features music reflecting the multi-cultural and multi-faith traditions of multi-city living utilising gospel, celtic, romantic, indigenous and contemporary musical genres and instrumentation to spectacular effect.

Tickets are from $28 to $48 and can be booked at www.carnegiehall.org.

STREET REQUIEM (2014) was conceived by Jonathon Welch and co composed in Melbourne, Australia, by Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne and Jonathon Welch. The complete ten-movement work was premiered at the Melbourne Recital Centre's Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on the 7th of June 2014, conducted by Jonathon Welch and Kathleen McGuire.

Jonathon Welch conceived of STREET REQUIEM with the aim of bringing a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to communities struggling to come to terms with street violence, war and a loss of safety on our streets. It is a highly accessible, contemporary work including English, African and Persian lyrics alongside a modern setting of the traditional Latin texts. While at times deeply moving, the work is essentially optimistic and uplifting. The composers utilise gospel, Celtic, neo-Romantic, neo-Baroque, Indigenous and contemporary genres and instrumentation to reflect the multicultural and multifaith traditions of modern city living. The harmonic language finds common ground in the work's multiple styles by building upon chant and folk music- influenced open fourth and fifth intervals, with melodies drawn from pentatonic scales and various modes.

From the outset they endeavoured to create an inclusive work to which people from various backgrounds and traditions could relate. Although it is anchored in the Latin of the traditional requiem mass, they incorporate English texts relevant to a modern day context. STREET REQUIEM is deliberately neither secular nor religious, intended instead to be deeply spiritual, allowing listeners to find their own faith or meaning in the context of the words.

Because there were several highly publicised deaths on the streets of Melbourne during the composition period, the composers were asked if any specific events are referenced in the work. The answer is best understood by their intent to write inclusively. There is no doubt that specific events profoundly affected them - and they indeed discussed whether or not to write for or dedicate particular sections to specific individuals - but it was decided that STREET REQUIEM would be for all those who died on the streets.

As well as remembering street deaths, the composers also want to challenge audiences to do something about their situation, whether it is for those who are forced to live on the streets or in regard to society's general attitudes to violence. The tone of STREET REQUIEM is often confronting, encouraging listeners to examine their own attitudes and beliefs.



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