Rachmaninoff Vespers
  • Oct 30, 2021
  • Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Rachmaninoff Vespers

Audience Advisory: All ticket holders must wear a mask AND provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance. Please click here for more details about our health and safety policies.


Robert Istad, conductor
Pacific Chorale
Aundi Marie Moore, soprano
Warren Hagerty, cello
Sangyoun Park, percussion

  • South Korean composer Hyo-Won Woo’s 8 Laughing Voices delighted the audience at “UnSung Heroes” in 2018. Now her Me-Na-Ri for three choirs and percussion provides the dramatic, immersive invitation to return to the concert hall with Pacific Chorale.
  • The Stillness Chained explores new perspectives on life and geography through the eyes of two California transplants: composer Tarik O’Regan and poet Yone Noguchi*.
  • Damian Geter’s moving new cantata for soprano, cello, and choir intertwines a Bach motet with African American spirituals, carrying a timely message of perseverance and hope.
  • All setting the stage for the timeless beauty of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, founded in Russian Orthodox chant and richly harmonized to display the full breadth of nuance and expression possible when voices are raised together in song.


Me-Na-Ri (Space Music) Hyo-Won Woo
The Stillness Chained
(World Premiere)
Tarik O’Regan
Cantata for a More Hopeful Tomorrow
(West Coast Premiere)
Damien Geter
Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op. 37 Sergei Rachmaninoff

* Did you know? Poet Yone Noguchi was the father of noted sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi, whose California Scenario Garden, only one block away from the concert hall, is a South Coast landmark. Be sure to pay a visit while you’re in the area!


Celebrating with Voices of Hope

Korean composer Hyo-Won Woo’s “Me-Na-Ri” explores the use of space in music, with three separate choirs contrasting with solo voice and Korean percussion. This opening piece to our 2021-2022 season will envelope the audience in sound within the Concert Hall’s ringing acoustics.

“Me-Na-Ri” was written in 2005 for South Korea’s prestigious Incheon City Chorale, who gave this performance at the 2009 American Chorale Directors Association conference.


Damien Geter does it all! The talented bass-baritone and recently appointed interim music director of Portland Opera is also an outstanding composer whose music, such as the opera American Apollo and An African American Requiem, has been acclaimed for its melding of the classical tradition with the styles of the Black diaspora.

The Washington Chorus, led by Eugene Rogers, gave the world premiere of Geter’s Cantata for a More Hopeful Tomorrow in virtual format last year. We are excited to welcome soprano Aundi Marie Moore, who sang the premiere, as our guest soloist for our own performance of the cantata. Ms. Moore’s rich vocals can be heard here in “The Resolve,” incorporating the spirituals “There Is a Balm in Gilead” and “By and By.”


Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (or All-Night Vigil) was the composer’s tribute to the splendid Russian Orthodox tradition, wrapping its soaring chant and chant-inspired melodies in lush Romantic vocal harmonies. Pacific Chorale last presented the Vespers under the baton of John Alexander in 2010. A live concert recording of that performance is available here. It is our very great pleasure to welcome back mezzo-soprano I-Chin Betty Feinblatt to reprise her heart-melting solo in the movement “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.”


Hyo-Won Woo's dramatic "Me-Na-Ri (Space Music)" and moving new works by Tarik O'Regan and Damien Geter set the stage for the timeless beauty and rich harmonies of Rachmaninoff's Vespers on October 30th.