The Verdi Chorus
The Verdi Chorus | Credit: Tim Bereth​​​​​

“Ritorna Vincitori!” is the title of the Verdi Chorus’s concert next month, and opera lovers will see the connection immediately. The aria from Aida, by the group’s namesake composer, envisions a triumphant return that the Chorus is making good on.

These performances, Nov. 13 and 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, will be the first back from the pandemic for the Verdi singers. And it’s particularly momentous for this group dedicated to some of the biggest moments from one of the biggest art forms.

Since 1983, the Verdi Chorus, led by Founding Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum, has devoted itself to music for opera chorus. Saturday and Sunday’s program will feature some of the famous ensemble numbers in the repertoire — selections from Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Pagliacci, Dido and Aeneas, Mefistofele, and, of course, Aida.

But it won’t be all chorus all the time. Four guest soloists will share the stage with the Verdi singers for these performances: soprano Shana Blake Hill, mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, tenor Alex Boyer, and baritone Roberto Perlas Gómez.

It’s just one aspect of the Verdi Chorus’s part community, part professional model. The group itself comprises about 40 amateur members, plus 14 Fox Singers, young professionals who serve as section leaders and rehearsal coaches. And since 2015, a handful of college music students have joined the ensemble each season, through the Chorus’s Apprentice Singers program.

“Through these past weeks of rehearsal, it has become clearer than ever how much we need the arts,” said Ketchum, “and in particular, the ability to experience the arts in person.”

Find tickets for “Ritorna Vincitori!” — Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. — on the Verdi Chorus’s website, or call (800) 838-3006.

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