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The Minnesota Orchestra Performs Verdi's Requiem, May 17-19

The Minnesota Chorale joins the Orchestra; Edward Gardner conducts 

Soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo Elizabeth DeShong, tenor René Barbera and baritone Eric Owens perform as soloists

In Minnesota Orchestra concerts on May 17, 18 and 19, guest conductor Edward Gardner leads the Orchestra in Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, a work that has become one of the most frequently-performed choral-orchestral pieces ever written since its premiere in May 1874 at the Milan Cathedral, with Verdi himself conducting. These performances feature the Minnesota Chorale and four world-class vocal soloists: soprano Ailyn Pérez, mezzo Elizabeth DeShong, tenor René Barbera and bass Eric Owens.

The concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, May 17, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $102. More information is available at and by phone at 612-371-5656.  For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

Edward Gardner, conductor

Edward Gardner, chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic since 2015, has led that orchestra on multiple international tours, including performances in Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam, and at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival. During the 2018-19 season, he returns to the Chicago Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano and London Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he debuts with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Köln, Vienna Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and leads a new production of Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová at the Royal Opera House. He also continues his longstanding collaborations with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra. More:

Requiem Vocal Soloists

Soprano Ailyn Pérez is a winner of both the Richard Tucker Award and the Plácido Domingo Award. Her career highlights include singing the role of Violetta in La Traviata for Opernhaus Zürich, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Teatro all Scala Milan and Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. In concert she has performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal; Mozart’s Requiem with the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Essen Philharmoniker. More:,

Mezzo Elizabeth DeShong has performed extensively throughout the world with symphony orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Cincinnati Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra, and with opera companies worldwide. Her 2018-19 season engagements included performances in Norma with the North Carolina Opera, a recital for Vocal Arts, D.C., John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco and Houston symphonies. More:,

Tenor René Barbera recently made his company and role debut as Elvino in La sonnambula with the Washington Concert Opera, followed by his debut at the Michigan Opera Theater as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and return appearances with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier. He also sang in his debuts with Seattle Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and was heard at the Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow.  In the 2018-19 season he debuts with the Wiener Staatsoper, Dutch National Opera and Opera di Roma. More:

In the 2018-19 season, Eric Owens returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago to make his role debut as the Wanderer in David Poutney’s new production of Wagner’s Siegfried. He also stars as Porgy in James Robinson’s new production of Porgy and Bess at the Dutch National Opera and makes his role debut as Hagen in Götterdämmerung at the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Philippe Jordan. Concert appearances include the world premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the people at the New York Philharmonic, Aïda at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s Requiem with Music of the Baroque. More:

Verdi’s Requiem
In place of quiet reverence, in place of grief expressed through ceremonial chants, Verdi’s Requiem offers heart-rending drama that would be at home on the operatic stage. These qualities were intentional. Verdi wrote his Requiem in honor of a man he considered “one of the glories of Italy”—the poet, novelist and patriot Alessandro Manzoni, who died in 1873. To salute this beloved national hero, Verdi created a concert piece for the masses, with music that embraces the Latin mass for the dead not as ritual, but as poetry.  

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Friday, May 17, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, May 18, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 2 p.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall 

Minnesota Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
Ailyn Pérez, soprano
Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo
René Barbera, tenor
Eric Owens, bass
Minnesota Chorale 

VERDI                  Requiem

Tickets: $30 to $102


Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2018-19 season.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.






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Communications Office

Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Phone: 612.371.5600
Fax: 612.371.7170

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