Mozart Requiem 25.8.2013
Internationally renowned opera stars generously contributed to this benefit concert for the new CBS Music Centre. Soprano soloist was Madeline Bender, from New York. Since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, she has taken leading roles for many opera companies, and appears on DVD under John Eliot Gardiner alongside Magdalena Kozena in the title role of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice. In demand as a concert soloist, she has sung the Bach B Minor Mass with the Handel & Haydn Society; the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony under Sir Andrew Davis. Simon O’Neill came fresh from Wagner performances at La Scala and the BBC Proms, and left for Tokyo, Berlin and Covent Garden. Paul Whelan, who has sung the title roles of Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin at the Sydney Opera House, was in NZ for a Stravinsky Soldier’s Tale, and The Flying Dutchman. They were joined by alto soloist Margot Button, a vocal graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music. A newly refurbished Steinway concert grand piano has replaced the instrument crushed during the earthquake. Played by Michael Lawrence, it was heard for the first time in settings of Ave Maria and the Lord’s Prayer sung by Simon and Paul, and a Rachmaninov Prelude.