Years ago I had the immense good fortune to sing with Maestro Vincent La Selva’s New York Grand Opera in Central Park (“Verdi and the ‘Jewish Opera,'” February 15). The opera was Nabucco, which at that time had not been presented in many years. The principals were well-known opera singers. I was a chorus member. Of course, the highlight of the opera is “Va pensiero,” the chorus of the Hebrew slaves. Hearing it is overwhelmingly exciting; singing it – there are not enough superlatives. It emanates from the toes, reverberates through your entire being, and beams out from every pore of your body.
Fast forward a couple of decades to 2008. After an announcement at a rehearsal of Wayne’s Harmony Singers that the William Paterson University summer chorus needed more singers, I decided to participate. My excitement was immeasurable when at the first rehearsal I found that “Va pensiero” was on the program. Once again, my soul soared as I felt myself become one with the returning Hebrew slaves when we performed this magnificent piece of music.