Marlissa's Musings

Verdi Requiem – Pleading for My Soul


Have you ever had the opportunity to plead for your soul? I mean to the point that you can feel the heat from hell singeing your heels? Well that’s what I did in the “Libera Me” section of the Verdi Requiem (video below). If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about, a Requiem is a mass for the dead, and Verdi composed one of the most celebrated versions; perhaps because it’s really an opera masquerading as oratorio. There’s drama in every moment, and singers are taken to their limits in stamina, control, and passion. An opportunity that can kick your butt if you’re not careful. Fortunately I prepared for this one long in advance. After the first run-through I was sweating like I’d run a couple of miles and really needed a nap. Seriously. After a few weeks, however, I was ready to roll and excited to bring Verdi’s work to life to the best of my abilities.

If you’d also like a translation, here goes (thanks Wikipedia!):

Líbera me, Dómine, de morte ætérna, in die illa treménda:
Quando cœli movéndi sunt et terra.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego, et tímeo, dum discússio vénerit, atque ventúra ira.
Quando cœli movendi sunt et terra.
Dies illa, dies iræ, calamitátis et misériæ, dies magna et amára valde.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine: et lux perpétua lúceat eis.

Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
I am made to tremble, and I fear, till the judgment be upon us, and the coming wrath,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
That day, day of wrath, calamity, and misery, day of great and exceeding bitterness,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.

At this point my only real regret is not recording the second performance, where the high B natural was WAAY better. Alas, we live and learn. I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and think I’ll keep this one in my repertoire. Enjoyed singing every moment, even if I was simultaneously scared out of my mind. This was a real departure from the type of oratorio or concert rep I normally perform, and provided the eustress I needed to continue growing. Isn’t that half the fun of being an artist? The day I stagnate is the day I find something else to do with my time. Enjoy the performance, and let me know how you’ve approached growth in your own career fields – particularly if it was terrifying or foreign at the time.




  1. Wayne Lail - October 14, 2013 7:17 pm

    Dear Ms HUSDON, you sound and look just like a marvelous young soprano I know named “Marlissa HUDSON.” Are you related, or perhaps from a parallel universe?… Whatever the case, this was lovely singing!

  2. terry bandy - November 22, 2013 7:55 pm

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    • Marlissa Hudson - November 22, 2013 8:04 pm

      Terry – so glad you enjoyed it! Who is your father, if you don’t mind me asking? Regardless, I’ll be updating often!

  3. Ines de Erausquin - December 9, 2013 1:05 am

    MARLISSA OH MY GOSH. This is unbelievably gorgeous. So dramatic and powerful! As you say, you can definitely feel the flames singing your heels! Bravissima! Wish I’d been there!

    • Marlissa Hudson - December 9, 2013 1:06 am

      Thanks so much Ines! I hope you’re still well and playing/singing. Isn’t Verdi the best?!

      • Ines de Erausquin - March 17, 2014 10:18 pm

        I am indeed – just did my Masters’ voice recital last semester, have an opera competition in two weeks… the voice continues on. 🙂 Piano recital in April and I’m done with the MM, and from there on — who knows! 🙂 Keep up all your awesomeness!!


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