Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 4 PM

Church of the Redeemer - Episcopal

222 S. Palm Avenue - Sarasota, FL 34236

While working on The Magic Flute, Mozart received a commission from a stranger to compose a requiem, but under conditions of secrecy.

Count von Walsegg wanted a requiem for his wife, to be played every year on her anniversary – and some have suggested he might have wanted to pass it off as his own work.

With the encouragement of his own wife, Mozart accepted the challenge, and was paid a part-fee, with the rest to follow on completion. The deadline, according to one report, was four weeks. But Mozart had to go to Prague to conduct Tito – and the deadline continued to hang over him.

Mozart starts work, concentratedly, on 8 October 1791.

On 20 November, he takes to his bed with a worsening of the spells of ill health he had suffered during the last year. On 3 December, his condition appears to improve – and the next day a few close friends gather to sing over with him part of the still-unfinished Requiem.

That evening, Mozart’s illness worsens, and just before 1am on 5 December, he dies, aged 35 with an initial cause of death registered as ‘severe military fever’.

At Mozart’s death, only the Introitus of the Requiem is fully scored. All the other movements, from the Kyrie fugue to the end of the Hostias, are only sketched. Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who has written the recitatives for La clemenza di Tito, completes much of the Requiem.

Featuring four of our talented

Choral Scholars as soloists:

Melissa Simmons, Soprano

Annika Kufrovich, Alto

Adam Rusmisell, Tenor

James Pollack, Bass

Also on the program
"Alleluia" from Exsultate, Jubilate
Jessica Mary Murphy, soprano

Ms. Murphy is a Soprano on the Full Roster with Opera Philadelphia under Chorus Master Elizabeth Braden (Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Turandot, La Traviata, Don Carlo), sings periodically with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Philadelphia Symphonic Choir under Dr. Joe Miller, and freelances as a Soloist and Soprano Section Leader at churches around the Philadelphia Area.

Hailed as an “exceptional soloist,” who “demonstrates great control while singing at an incredibly soft dynamic, especially at the top of her range,” her opera roles include Frasquita (Carmen), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe), The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Serpina (La serva padrona) and Flora (The Turn of the Screw). After hearing Ms. Murphy sing a selection of Poulenc Mélodies in the French Art Song Festival at Westminster, the legendary coach and accompanist Dalton Baldwin invited her to study with him the following summer at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice in France.  Upon her return, she was asked to be a soloist for Mr. Baldwin’s 80th Birthday Celebration in New York City the following winter.  She won First Place at the NJNATS Festival of Singing competition in both 2011 and 2012, and was selected as a Semi-Finalist at the Joy In Singing Positively Poulenc Competition in New York in 2013. 

Ms. Murphy last appeared with Musica Sacra of Sarasota in spring 2018 in its presentation of John Rutter's Requiem.

The online Box Office will be open till midnight Saturday, Feb. 8.  After that time, tickets will be available at the door beginning at 3 PM on the day of the performance.

© 2014 - 2018 Musica Sacra of Sarasota, Inc.

PO Box 50581

Sarasota, FL 34232



Photographic credits:

Gary Sweetman Photography © 2017-2019

Bob Harris Photography © 2015

Cliff Roles Photography © 2014

Home page background photo:

Musica Sacra of Sarasota in performance at

First Congregational United Church of Christ November 2019

Gary Sweetman Photography © 2019