Great opera choruses in spotlight at concert Navy, Goucher ensembles to perform at Alumni Hall

April 08, 1996|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In opera, it's the great arias that sell the tickets.

But some of opera's most incandescent moments occur not when soloists commence their gladiatorial struggles against lengthy phrases and impossibly florid passages, but when the multitudes assemble on stage to belt out the great choruses that dot the operatic landscape.

"Va, Pensiero" from Verdi's "Nabucco," the Pilgrims' Chorus from Wagner's "Tannhauser," the Anvil Chorus from "Il Trovatore," also by Verdi, and Borodin's explosive and beautiful Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" are a few of those episodes where the goose bumps come from massed sound and spectacle, not the individual gymnastics of the leading soprano or tenor.

An entire concert of such moments will be provided by the choruses of the Naval Academy and Goucher College Saturday at Alumni Hall on the academy campus.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will join conductor John Barry Talley for this anthology of great operatic moments, which will include the Sailors' Chorus from Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman," the Triumphal March from Verdi's "Aida" and the Soldiers' Chorus from Gounod's "Faust."

Dr. David White, Naval Academy professor of English, will narrate the concert, which will conclude with choral selections from the great Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

Curtain time for this final event of the season of the academy's Distinguished Artists Series will be 7: 30 p.m.

The Distinguished Artists Series was established in 1991 to bring performers of international stature to the Brigade of Midshipmen and the Annapolis community.

Highlights have included performances by pianists Vladimir Feltsman and John Browning; Russia's Kirov and Bolshoi Symphony orchestras; premiere dancers from the New York City Ballet; and several productions staged by the New York City Opera's National Company.

Amid all this imported talent, however, the Glee Club's "Spring Oratorio" concert has shone consistently.

For tickets to the concert of opera choruses, call 268-6060.

Pub Date: 4/08/96

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