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Washington National Opera Chorus to perform benefit for AGMA Relief Fund

In between preparing for the next production ("Madama Butterfly," opening Feb. 26 at the Kennedy Center), members of the Washington National Opera Chorus are taking time out to lend their voices in support of musicians who are struggling financially during these recessionary times, when there have been so many cutbacks in the performing arts world.

The chorus, led by Steven Gathman, will give a benefit concert for the AGMA Relief Fund at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Ann Catholic Church, 4001 Yuma Street, NW, in Washington. No tickets are required; donations will be accepted.

The program looks remarkably eventful. The first half lists

traditional spirituals and the great folk song "Shenandoah" alongside such contemporary fare as Nico Muhly's "Set Me as a Seal."

The second half features the chorus in its operatic mode, with scenes from such works as "Fidelio," "Hamlet" and "La Rondine."

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