Pacific Requieum 2017
Music Director: Michael Loughlin
Pacific Requiem, a choral work composed by Australian Michael McNeill, blends the text and music of the Latin Mass with folk and children's music of peoples involved in the Pacific theatre of World War II. The work was written in 2014 and premiered in New Orleans, United States in 2016.
Darwin Chorale presents the first Australian performance of this work, as part of “The Territory Remembers” commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942. Members of the Darwin Youth Choir, Music Director Nora Lewis, will also participate.
The work is one of reconciliation and closure for those involved in the Pacific theatre during World War II – Japanese, American and Australian service men and women, non-military personnel and civilian victims. In the composer's own words, “I created this work, not to remember what happened but to trigger that which binds us, our shared common humanity.”
Michael McNeill's father served as a US Marine at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. He made peace with his former foes, but suffered psychologically for many years afterwards. Michael states that “Pacific Requiem was written as a tool to heal the wounds of those who fought in the Pacific theatre of World War II”.
Darwin Chorale is pleased to be able to present this work as a contribution to the dedication of the Memorial Reflection Pool in the Peace Garden at the concert venue – the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church. The venue is appropriate because it is the location of 77 bronze crosses forged from metal salvaged from World War II shipwrecks in Darwin Harbour. The salvager was Japanese expert Ryugo Fujita, a pacifist who adorned the pews and communion rail of the Uniting Church with the 77 crosses. The story of the salvage is an important part of Darwin's history, as well as contributing to post-war reconciliation and friendship.
Darwin Chorale Music Director: Michael Loughlin