The choir from St. Timothy Catholic Church in The Villages and members of the Central Florida Lyric Opera will present the original composition “Requiem for World Peace” as part of the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria.
The composition is dedicated to all those affected by war throughout the world, especially those in the Ukraine and Russia.
The performances set for Aug. 23 and 24 will mark the world premiere of this new composition and will take place at St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) and St. Peter’s Church (Peterskiche), both in Vienna. The composition was written by two popular musicians in The Villages, Bill Doherty and Angie Rose. Doherty is director of music at St. Timothy Catholic Church, general director of the Central Florida Lyric Opera company and member of the Board of Directors for the Opera Club of the Villages. He is also a founding member of the Harold Schwartz Musical Scholarship which has raised and subsequently given away nearly $600,000 in musical scholarships to high school students from the tri-county area. Rose has been a staple in The Villages for almost a decade, and has been seen performing on The Sharon stage and with The Studio Theatre at Tierra del Sol, as well as various other local venues. She is the associate director of worship at New Covenant United Methodist Church.
This musical ensemble first appeared overseas in 2012 at the Vatican for a Mass with then Pope Benedict the XVI. Later that year, Doherty was commissioned to compose his first Requiem Mass. The world premiere of the Requiem Mass was originally scheduled for Rome, Italy but on March 19, 2014 the St. Timothy Choir and members of the Central Florida Lyric Opera presented the world premiere of the original composition near the Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, Israel. As a result of that performance, the group was invited back to Italy in 2016 to present the European premiere at St. Ignatius Basilica in Rome, in concert with full orchestra and by special invitation to sing for the closing celebration Mass of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy with Pope Francis.
This year’s choir trip to Austria also includes performances of Mozart’s Coronation Mass at the Salzburg Cathedral where they will also sing for Sunday High Mass the following day. Other activities include tours of the home of Mozart and the Mozart museum, the Vienna Opera House, the House of Parliament, City Hall and Burgtheater among others. The group will also visit the numerous sites in Salzburg and the surrounding areas where the movie-musical, “Sound of Music” was filmed in the 1960’s.
St. Timothy’s Choir, has been in existence for over 22 years. The choir is made up of men and women from all over the world now living in The Villages. In the past thirteen years, the choir has been under the direction of Maestro Doherty who is also the General Director of the Central Florida Lyric Opera Company and a Member of the Board of Directors for the Opera Club of the Villages. Throughout the course of a year, St. Timothy’s Choir sings at the 9 a.m. mass every Sunday and on other special occasions at the church. The choir holds as many as six formal concerts each year for the parish and has also sung in various other churches and events throughout Central Florida. This marks their fourth pilgrimage overseas.