Combining traditional requiem texts with a contemporary libretto by Dr. Robert Walker, Will Todd’s “mini opera” for soloists, choir, and chamber orchestra is a dramatic journey through the stages of grief. Dr. Alicia Walker will conduct the premiere performance in Columbia on Saturday 26 March.

In this Sonatas & Soundscapes interview that aired Thursday, March 24th, host Bradley Fuller speaks with British composer Will Todd and American conductor Alicia Walker about Requiem Gravare. They explain how a conversation with Robert Walker—a minister in Columbia and Alicia’s husband—led to the creation of a work that merges the traditional text of the Catholic mass for the dead with Robert’s more contemporary expressions of loss and comfort. Will and Alicia also share about the requiem’s scope, its musical and emotional content, the challenges it poses, and what they hope it will impart to audiences.

Alicia, who is Director of Choral Studies at the University of South Carolina, will lead the UofSC Concert Choir, a chamber orchestra, and four soloists from the UofSC School of Music’s voice faculty for the work’s world premiere at Shandon Presbyterian Church in Columbia on Saturday, March 26th, at 7:30pm. Alicia will also conduct the UK premiere in June at Southwark Cathedral.