Deborah HumbleLeft – Deborah Humble. Photo – Christian Tiger

On Saturday, 13 June, Southwark Cathedral will be the scene of a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s colossal Requiem by the London Lawyers’ Chorus and Symphony Orchestra with a topflight roster of international soloists conducted by Christopher Oakley.

Among the soloists will be the renowned Australian mezzo-soprano, Deborah Humble, an opera singer who crosses the globe in constant demand for her interpretations of Wagner and Verdi operatic roles. What sets the coming Verdi Requiem apart for this veteran singer, however, is the setting: Southwark Cathedral is home to three magnificently carved statues of Humble’s ancestors, Richard Humble (d. 1616) and his two wives, Margaret and Isabel.

London-based Travel PR expert MagellanStraits dedicated a blog post to the statues of Humble’s ancestors in Southwark Cathedral on its website, featuring photos of the statues and informing us that "Southwark Cathedral records show that Humble, a city alderman, was a member of the church vestry – the laity helping with the day to day running of the church and its charities. It also notes that despite his involvement with the Church, he was once fined for allowing his sheep to graze in the churchyard without permission!"

Fresh from her debut in the role of Brangäne in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in Mexico City, Humble, who garnered accolades for her performances of the roles of Erda and Waltraute in the recent Melbourne Ring, discussed her upcoming appearance in Southwark Cathedral and its meaning for her:
“When I moved to London from Australia in 1996 to study singing, my father, Peter Humble, told me to go and visit Southwark Cathedral where I would find statues and records of my British ancestors, notably Richard Humble and his two wives. To be singing in this historic and beautiful venue nearly twenty years later is very exciting. The Verdi Requiem is one of my favourite pieces of music and the large, combined orchestral and choral forces will surely make for a memorable event.”

This Verdi Requiem should prove to be a highlight of an especially personal nature for the star mezzo-soprano, whose busy season has included major Wagner performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, at Boston’s Symphony Hall, and in Mexico City, as well as appearances in Hamburg (Staatsoper), Singapore, and Minsk.

Giuseppe Verdi
Messa da Requiem

Conducted by Christopher Oakley

Performed by the London Lawyers’ Chorus and Didcot Choral Society and the London Lawyers’ Symphony Orchestra
with soloists Laura Mitchell (soprano), Deborah Humble (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Rees (tenor), Richard Bannan (baritone)

Venue: Southwark Cathedral, London
Date: Saturday, 13 June 2015, at 19:30
Tickets: £15 at the door until sold out

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