A large and enthusiastic audience of classical music lovers filled the pews of Coronado’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Sunday evening, Nov. 17, to hear a brilliant performance of Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian’s Grammy-nominated choral work “Requiem” presented by Musica Vitale. Lebanese-Armenian conductor Raffi Mikaelian led the Musica Vitale choir and the string section of Orquestra de Baja California in this widely-acclaimed work. Baritone Michael Sokol and soprano Laura Reyes were featured soloists.

Mansurian’s “requiem” memorializes the killing of an estimated one and one-half million Armenians by the Ottoman government between 1915 and 1917. This genocide was recognized by the U.S House of Representatives recently as a historical atrocity. The deeply dramatic work is a blend of Western and Armenian musical tradition. It was sung in Latin and the text follows the Roman Catholic liturgy, rather than the Armenian. While Armenian sacred music usually employs modal chants by male priests in unison, Mansurian scored this work for mixed choir and strings, providing a deeply emotional quality to the music. A visibly-moved audience responded to the eight-movement performance with a prolonged standing ovation.

International performing artist and educator Elena Vizuet is founder and artistic director of the vocal ensemble Musica Vitale. The group is in residence at Sacred Heart Church where Vizuet is Director of Music Ministries. Musica Vitale has performed extensively throughout Southern California and brings the very highest standards of performance and the best of classical choral repertoire to a variety of audiences. This presentation was made possible by the generous support of donors and sponsors. To help support Musica Vitale in popularizing timeless classical music, promoting local artists and educating young listeners, please contact Vizuet. Forthcoming concerts featuring composer George Gianopoulis are scheduled for 12 p.m. Dec. 4 at Encinitas Public Library and 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Coronado Public Library.

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