LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mozart’s Requiem Features World Premiere at Merrill Auditorium March 30

Presented by The Choral Art Society and Portland Ballet Company

PORTLAND, Maine – The Choral Art Society and Portland Ballet Company are joining forces once again to explore an already world-renowned choral and orchestral work with the beauty of dance. The two organizations will present Mozart’s powerful masterpiece, the Requiem, on Tuesday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

This riveting performance will feature the world premier of new choreography by Kennet Oberly; the Choral Art Society singers; Portland Ballet Company dancers, and musicians from the Portland Symphony Orchestra. The dancers embody the emotion of the piece, its sense of grief, resurrection and hope. The Requiem celebrates the beauty and strength of life, and the power of belief in the face of death. The dance will visually enhance the majesty and spirituality of the music.

The Portland Ballet and the Choral Art Society have partnered in the past, in particular their productions of Carmina Burana received rave reviews from fans and press.

"Every composition has a story, even if it is only, 'I want to write a song,'” said Robert Russell, music director of the Choral Art Society. “The story of the genesis, and eventual synthesis, of Mozart's Requiem still grabs me. And I have read it a dozen times. We hope many will want to be taken in by its mesmerizing spirit."

The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) awarded Portland Ballet and the Choral Art Society a Good Idea Visibility Arts Grant of $1,500 to create a video element to promote its collaborative performance. MAC awards the grant with the goal of increasing the visibility of a specific artistic project.

“Our joint performance of Mozart’s Requiem with the Choral Art Society will be a truly extraordinary experience for audience members,” notes Eugenia L. O’Brien, artistic director of Portland Ballet. “This grant will help us reach a broader audience and share information about the performance with those who know and love Mozart, as well as those who might want to be introduced to his work through a powerful and emotional performance of music and dance.”

Tickets are available through PortTix at or by calling 207-842-0800 or in person at 20 Myrtle St., Portland, Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets purchased over the phone or online will be assessed a $5 per ticket handling charge; tickets range in price from $17- $62.

The concert is sponsored by Tenney UBS Inc. This production has also received funding from the Libra Foundation, the Davis Family Foundation, the Rines/Thompson Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About The Choral Art Society:
The Society has more than 150 members who perform in three distinct ensembles: the symphonic Masterworks Chorus, the mid-sized Choral Art Singers, and the intimate a cappella Camerata. All singers are skilled amateurs, selected by audition. The Society offers an annual concert series and appears regularly as guests of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Robert Russell, professor of music at the University of Southern Maine, is the conductor and artistic director of The Choral Art Society.

For more information about The Choral Art Society and the season of performances visit or call (207) 828-0043.

About Portland Ballet:

Portland Ballet was founded in 1980 with a mission to enrich the community through classical ballet training, education, outreach, and performance. This small professional company performs throughout the year in southern Maine, presenting full-length classics as well as highly regarded contemporary choreography under the direction of Artistic Director Eugenia L. O'Brien.

For more information about Portland Ballet, its school and programs, visit or call 207-772-9671.

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