Brahms German Requiem Set for November 12 & 13

Gemma Kavanagh

One of the most celebrated works in the choral and orchestral repertoire, the Brahms German Requiem will be performed on Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 pm at the Community Concert Hall in Durango and Sunday, November 13 at 3 pm at Henderson Performance Hall in Farmington under the baton of new San Juan Symphony Music Director Thomas Heuser.  The concert is sponsored by Coca Cola of Durango and Farmington.

Featuring a packed stage with more than 150 performers, the symphony will be joined by the Durango Choral Society (directed by Linda Mack Berven), the Caliente Chorus of Farmington (directed by Virginia Nickels-Hircock) and the Fort Lewis College Chamber Choir (directed by Charissa Chiaravalloti) with baritone soloist Seth Keeton and soprano soloist Gemma Kavanagh. The Requiem promises to deliver a musical feast for the heart, mind and spirit.  In this sublime and comforting music, the majesty of the heavens and the intimacy of a private memorial offer a universal message of hope for all mankind.

Seth Keeton is a passionate recitalist and oratorio performer who has been seen in concert as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Haydn’s Creation, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In 2006, he was a national finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received awards from the Sullivan Foundation and the Eleanor McCollum Competition. Mr. Keeton received his Bachelor of Music from Illinois Wesleyan University, his Master of Music from Indiana University, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota.   He is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Utah.

Dublin-born soprano Gemma Kavanagh began her career with the Dublin Opera.  After moving to California in 1994, Gemma performed with the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Lyric Opera, the San Francisco Opera Guild, Opera San Jose, Berkeley Opera, Monterey Opera, Oakland Lyric Opera, and Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera. Her operatic repertoire includes lead soprano roles in “Don Giovanni,” “Madame Butterfly,”  “The Magic Flute,” “La Boheme,” “Die Kluge,” “La Traviata,” “Tosca,” “La Rondine,” “Merry Widow,” and “Carmen.” Since moving to Durango, Colorado in 1999, Gemma has performed with the San Juan Symphony, Music in the Mountains, Durango Women’s Choir and 3rd Avenue Arts.

Maestro Heuser will give a pre-concert talk on Wednesday, November 9 from 6 to 7 pm at the Durango Arts Center, and at 2 pm on Sunday, November 13 at 2 pm at Henderson Hall in Farmington before the afternoon symphony performance.  Both talks are free and the public is invited to attend.

For Durango tickets, please call 970-247-7657, purchase online at, or visit the Community Concert Hall ticket office in the Welcome Center at 8th St. and Main Avenue.  For Farmington tickets, please call 505-566-3430.  For more information, go to