Arts & Events
The Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra will give three free performances next month of the rarely heard “Requiem Mass, Op. 89” by Antonin Dvorak.
The concerts will be Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m. All concerts will be at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley. The church is wheelchair-accessible.
The 90-minute Mass, which requires four soloists, a large choir and an orchestra with brass and percussion, uses the Czechoslovakian pronunciation of Latin. Although it is rarely performed outside the Czech Republic, excerpts were played in December at the funeral of Vaclav Havel, playwright, dissident and former Czech president.
Soloists will be Carrie Hennessey, soprano; Megan Berti, mezzo-soprano; J. Raymond Meyers, tenor; and Richard Mix, bass.
BCCO, a non-auditioned chorus of more than 220 singers accompanied by an orchestra, is under the direction of Ming Luke. He is the third BCCO conductor since its founding in 1966. Luke succeeded Arlene Sagan, music director emeritus, who led the chorus for 23 years.
“The Dvorak Requiem deserves to be heard live to fully experience and appreciate the richness and power of this lyrical masterpiece,” Luke said.
Some of Luke’s recent conducting engagements include the San Francisco Ballet, Opera San Jose, Sacramento Opera, Napa Regional Dance Company, Sacramento Philharmonic and Napa Valley Symphony. Luke is director and conductor of the Berkeley Symphony’s music education program, which provides School and Family Concerts.
Luke also is music director of the Napa Valley Youth Symphony and the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The two orchestras took top honors last year at the Los Angeles International Music Festival.
The assistant conductor, Derek Tam, also performs as a pianist and a harpsichordist.
For more information, contact Karen Davison, board president, at 510-433-9599, or see http://www.bcco.org.