THE VERDI CHORUS 2019 FALL CONCERT - The Verdi Chorus Non Equity Auditions

Posted: August 1, 2019
Audition Location: Santa Monica, CA

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The Verdi Chorus Fall 2019 Concert

Two performances only

November 16 -17, 2019

First United Methodist Church, Santa Monica

Continuing its 36th Anniversary Season, The Verdi Chorus (Anne Marie Ketchum, Founding Artistic Director), announced today that auditions will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2019 for paid and volunteer positions at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica for The Verdi Chorus Fall 2019 Concert.
For those auditioning for volunteer positions:  The audition process is an opportunity for Verdi Chorus Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum to get an idea of the timbre of your voice, its range, and something about your musical abilities.  You will be asked to sing some scales and to do a simple ear training and sight-reading test.  You do not need to do any advance preparation. Positions are open for all voice types. Please also note that membership in The Verdi Chorus as a volunteer singer requires a certain financial commitment, but we’re flexible in making payment arrangements for those in financial need.
For those auditioning for paid section leader or apprentice positions:  You will be asked to send a resume and recent head shot and, if possible, a link to a recording of a performance you have done.  At the audition you will need to have two contrasting arias or classical art songs prepared to sing.  An accompanist will be provided.  
Paid section leaders assist the Artistic Director, provide direction for their sections in rehearsals, and have opportunities to perform as featured singers in performances. Apprentices gain the opportunity to work with the Chorus in rehearsals and concert, and are also awarded scholarships.
Members of the Verdi Chorus are expected to attend all rehearsals for each concert, study the repertoire independently and be prepared for each rehearsal, participate in in the promotion and growth of the choir, and provide their own required concert attire: tuxedo or a formal long black evening gown.
To request an audition for Saturday, August 31 please visit or call 661-418-7882.
The Verdi Chorus prepares for concerts with rehearsals 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 18 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, leading up to concerts featuring four acclaimed opera guest stars, who join the chorus in the last week of rehearsals.
Raising their voices together the Verdi Chorus becomes everything from a weary but fiercely impassioned chorus of Hebrew slaves to a chorus of heavenly angels to overworked but amused servants of Don Pasquale.
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!”
Further demonstrating the organization’s mission to provide performance opportunities to young professional singers, fifteen highly promising singers are hired as section leaders and rehearsal coaches. Known as the Fox Singers, named in memory of long-time Chorus and Board member Walter Fox, these singers 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 Broad Stage, the Huntington Library, and the Nixon Library.
The Chorus is also proud to continue with the Sahm Foundation Apprentice Singers program 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 2019 Concert are Saturday, November 16th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, November 17th at 2:00 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.
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.
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