Review: Damien Geter’s “An African-American Requiem” at the Kennedy Center

Posted on: May 31, 2022

“If I had but one word to sum up composer and bass-baritone Damien Geter, I’d have to go with ‘busy.’ Or at least, that is what I would have chosen before Monday, when the Choral Arts Society of Washington presented the East Coast premiere of Geter’s ‘An African-American Requiem,’ ” writes Michael Andor Brodeur in last Tuesday’s (5/24) Washington Post. “Now I think I’ll go with ‘major.’ First the busy part: Last week it was announced that Virginia Opera and the Richmond Symphony have commissioned Geter and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo to produce ‘Loving vs. Virginia,’ an operatic telling of the U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the interracial marriage of Mildred and Richard Loving. On June 12, the Washington Chorus will give his ‘Justice Symphony’ its D.C. premiere as part of the chorus’s ‘Justice & Peace’ program at the Kennedy Center…. Geter also is a celebrated bass-baritone, who just last week sang Beethoven’s Ninth with the Richmond Symphony…. Geter said … he composed ‘An African-American Requiem’ as a musical response to police violence against Black Americans, modeled after Verdi’s landmark 1874 ‘Requiem.’ ” Scott Tucker conducted the work at the Kennedy Center; performers included NEWorks Philharmonic Orchestra.