Choral strains remember the 1918 influenza pandemic   21 Oct 2018

On Remembrance Sunday (Nov 11th 2018), a series of choral concerts will begin at the National Army Museum, to mark the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Presented by the GAFA Arts Collective (GAC) Sunday MASSive combines Samoan dance and specially-written theatrical scenes with performances of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontious and the Requiem settings by Verdi and Brahms. The concept is the brain child of Sani Muliaumaseali’i (English National Opera, Royal Opera House) and the creative director of the (GAC). ‘These choral pieces honour all who perished, in particular those who ended up in mass graves. They were robbed of the dignity of a proper burial and although gone,  they are not forgotten’.  The virus came to Samoa on the SS Talune, a New Zealand cargo and passenger ship that docked in Apia in November 1918.  Sick passengers were allowed to disembark, and Samoa lost close to 25% of it’s population.  The indifference with which the NZ administration handled the situation fostered calls for independence which was achieved in 1962.  ‘Choosing the music for Sunday MASSive was a labour love’ says Muliaumaseali’i ‘ The ‘Verdi and Brahms requiems are popular works, and together with  Elgar’s  Dream of Gerontius, which details a souls journey into the afterlife, makes for a satisfying programme’ Pacific island soloists including Aivale Cole soprano, and James Ioelu Baritone who is currently appearing in Porgy and Bess, with Muliaumaseali’i at English National Opera, lead an international line up for the event,. Community choirs especially created for the occasion join in the activities, all accompanied by the Rosenau Sinfonia, led by Maestro Stephen Anthony Brown.  Muliaumaseali’i concludes that  ‘Requiem Aeternum' means rest in peace, through Sunday MASSive, we seek solace for souls departed and those of us left behind.

Sunday Massive tickets are available here.

 

Sunday MASSive.  November 11/18/ 25 19:30 - 21:30   

Venue: National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT 

Tickets: £30 & £20 (Concession) Available from: www.gafasamoa.com

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