St Albans Choir joins forces for Verdi Requiem at Bushey Academy

Michael Bundy

‘Verdi’s highly dramatic requiem demands a big choir and orchestra and the St Albans Choral Society will join forces with the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir and the Bushey Symphony Orchestra on Saturday 2nd July to perform the popular world at Bushey Academy at 7.30pm (SACS).’

 Under the baton of George Bass, Michael Bundy (baritone), Susie Self (mezzo-soprano), Claire Seaton (soprano) and Paul Badley (tenor) will perform at the concert.

Alison of the St Albans Choral Society says ‘Although it is Verdi’s only large-scale work not intended for the stage, the Requiem is unashamedly theatrical in style, with passages of great tenderness and simplicity contrasting with intensely dramatic sections.’
‘The first performance of the Messa di Requiem took place on 22 May 1874, the first anniversary of Manzoni’s death, in St Mark’s Church, Milan. Special permission had to be obtained from the Archbishop for the inclusion of the female choristers, who were hidden behind a screen and clad in full-length black dresses and mourning veils.’

       ‘ The restrained circumstances and prohibition against applause produced a somewhat muted reaction. In contrast, the second performance three days later, at La Scala Opera House, had a tumultuous reception from the capacity crowd. The Requiem became an overnight sensation, and has been as popular with audiences all over the world ever since.’

Tickets (£16, £1 children)are available from the BSO ticket line 01923 774229. More information on

Note; St Albans Choral Society was established in 1944 and is based in Dagnell St Baptist Church, St Albans.

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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on 'The Wild Geese' Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on