Verdi’s Requiem was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, a writer and humanist whom Verdi very much admired. The composer hoped to emulate through his music what Manzoni had achieved for Italian literature.

Initially the work was controversial because of Verdi’s overt operatic approach to a sacred text: he responded to every nuance of the words, such as the spine-chilling ‘Dies irae,’ the limpid beauty of the ‘Lacrimosa’ and the thrilling double-fugue of the ‘Sanctus.’ It’s a technically demanding tour-de-force and one Sheffield audiences have been waiting for, for over three years. The original cast from that delayed concert have reassembled and Sofi Jeannin will lead this star line-up, the Hallé and the massed voices of the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Leeds Festival Chorus in this powerful and deeply felt season finale.