BBC Proms: Crouch End Festival Chorus sing Verdi's Requiem

Soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha sings Verdi's Requiem at the first night of the BBC Proms

Soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha sings Verdi's Requiem at the first night of the BBC Proms - Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

BBC Proms, Verdi's Requiem

Royal Albert Hall

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After scaled down events, and performances in empty halls during covid, the opening night of the 2022 Proms was a powerful and moving celebration of mass choirs and full orchestra.

Our own Crouch End Festival Chorus - joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Sakari Oramo - held a full house rapt for a dramatic rendition of Verdi's Requiem.

The Crouch End Festival Chorus and BBC Symphony Chorus perform Verdi's Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall

The Crouch End Festival Chorus and BBC Symphony Chorus perform Verdi's Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall - Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

From the hushed opening notes, the mood veers from sombre to thrilling - the bass drum as urgent as Oramo's passionate intensity. This highly operatic piece sees four soloists sing the emotional stages of mourning, but it's soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha who stands out, with her beautiful soulful voice and depth of feeling.

But the sit up moments belong to the choirs, who are always on point. Salvation, damnation, sorrow, fear. It's all here. What a start to the season.

The BBC Proms continues until September 10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/proms

First night of the proms was conducted by Sakari Oramo

First night of the proms was conducted by Sakari Oramo - Credit: Chris Christodoulou