Mozart Requiem & Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël

Sempre Opera ends 2018 on a high note

After a successful season of Carmen (Bizet) in Johannesburg during the month of June, Sempre Opera will end the year in cooperation with the Capital Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Choir of Pretoria, under the leadership of conductor Schalk van der Merwe, in the spirit of the season with the Mozart Requiem and Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio on 1 December, 19:30 in the Heldesaal (Hall of Heroes) of the Voortrekker Monument.

The acoustics of the majestic Hall of Heroes with its thirty-meter vaulted ceiling, compares to European cathedrals, and has an echo of six seconds which makes it ideal for the performance of these two iconic compositions. It also showcases the world’s longest historical marble frieze. This concert appropriately concludes the celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Voortrekker Monument.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his Requiem commissioned by an anonymous philanthropist, and according to legend believed that he was busy composing his own funeral music. His work on the Requiem in d-minor was an all-consuming passion for Mozart during the last months of his life. He left his final masterpiece unfinished at the time of his death on 5 December 1791.

Camille Saint-Saëns completed his Oratorium de Noël/Christmas Oratorio in 1858 while appointed as the organist of the Roman Catholic Church L’église de la Madeleine in Paris, France, within two weeks in order to be in time for a Christmas day performance. The work is based on texts from the Old and New Testament, Psalms and the gospels as well as Catholic Christmas liturgy. The chamber music styled instrumentation and lyrical parts create a pastoral atmosphere that led to this becoming one of Saint-Saëns’ most performed works.

The soloists performing during this concert is Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach (soprano), Aukse Trinkunas (mezzo-soprano), Linette van der Merwe (mezzo-soprano), Chris Mostert (tenor), Danie Verster (bariton) en Otto Maidi (bass-baritone). Tickets for the concert cost R150 online at and R175 at the doors. Further inquiries can be sent to

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