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Pacific Requiem

Darwin was indisputably changed by World War II. Although those events may have taken place well over 50 years ago, it is important to reflect on the consequences and sacrifices made during that time. As a part of the Territory Remembers and 75th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin commemorations, the Darwin Chorale performs a meaningful and reconciliatory piece titled Pacific Requiem.

By Chelsea Heaney.

Composed by Australian Michael McNiell and conducted by Darwin Chorale's Michael Loughlin, Pacific Requiem blends the text and music of Latin Mass with folk and children’s music of cultures that were involved in World War II in the Pacific region. This includes music spanning Australia, Japan and the USA. 

Written in 2014, the work had its world premiere in New Orleans last year, performed by three massed choirs at St Louis Cathedral. Pacific Requiem was created to heal the wounds of those who fought during this time and, as the composer has described, to ‘trigger that which binds us, our shared common humanity’. The work hit close to home for McNiell and was partly inspired by his father’s experience as a US Marine in Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima and how he made peace with his former foes but was psychologically scarred for many years following the end of the war.

This will be the first time this piece has been performed in Australia and is presented in dedication of the Memorial Reflection Pool in the Japanese Peace Garden at the Darwin Memorial Uniting Church. More than 50 singers will lead the performance, accompanied by a string ensemble and a children’s choir. 

See the event listing

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