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opera choruses

What recommendations of opera choruses might one have for high school choirs?
Replies (12): Threaded | Chronological
on August 15, 2014 9:47am
"Va Pensiero"
on August 16, 2014 9:44am
Dwight, what's the nature/format of your concert?  Having sung with San Francisco Opera for 18 seasons, I can recommend many types of chorus pieces.  And I well recall singing that beautiful "Va pensiero" Bob Boyd just recommended.  
Ken Malucelli
on August 17, 2014 4:54pm
Portland's Metropolitan Youth Orchestra has asked 2-3 HS choirs to join them in a concert of this repertoire.  I'm doing the research for a fine teacher I've mentored for a few years but who is at sea in this literature area.    Good ideas all.  Thank you.  Much appreciated. 
on August 17, 2014 3:01am
The Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore, though the women don't sing as much as the men.
I loved the Neighbor's Chorus when I was in high school... over the 20+ years since then I've seen that some of the lyrics (when taken literally, as perhaps they shouldn't be) are no longer politically correct.  I did it with my high school group a few years ago and altered the lyrics in one spot and it went over very well.
For women only, either the Witches Chorus from MacBeth or the Peasant's Chorus from Eugene Onegin
on August 17, 2014 4:49pm
Thanks.  You're right about the Neighbor's text, but think it can be explained in historical context and made into a human rights teaching experience.  Searching for ideas for a new teacher whom I am mentoring.  Thanks.
on August 17, 2014 5:24am
We are doing the following Mozart choruses in a community choir...  They seem accessible for High School.  We might do one or two in English.
Amanti Costanti
​Scenda Amor
I like the idea and look forward to doing more of opera works.  I'll be watching this thread.
on August 17, 2014 10:47am
I have done both Scenda Amor and Ricevete with high school as well.  I second those choices.
on August 17, 2014 1:08pm
I love that idea but have often had trouble finding stand alone arrangements of these opera choruses.  Where does one find them?
Marti Martinez
on August 17, 2014 3:48pm
Look at or
on August 18, 2014 4:15am
The arrangements we use, usually come from  It is an investment but worth it.
on August 18, 2014 9:20am
The Easter sequence in Cavalaria Rusticana is a spectacular choral scene.
Also, it would be good for people to hear the original "familiar tune" Lohengrin chorus that became the wedding march.
Va pensiero is, of course, the greatest and most politically activist chorus---  substituting Jews and Babylonians for Lombardian Italians and Austrian oppressors.
on August 19, 2014 7:08am
I did Patrick Liebergen's Three Opera Choruses last year with my fairly urban High School Chorus and they loved it! It has Chorus of the Polovetsian Maidens from Borodin's "Prince Igor," for the girls,  Soldiers' Chorus from Gounod's "Faust" for the boys and full SATB choir on the Anvil Chorus from Verdi's "Il Trovatore." Very singable arrangement. The girls absolutely adored the Polovetsian Maidens piece. I've also used Liebergen's arrangement of Scenda Amor and my students enjoyed that as well. Both are available on JWPepper.
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