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Messa da Requiem

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OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
November 22 19:00, November 24 19:00, November 29 19:00, December 01 19:30, December 07 19:30, December 11 19:30, December 14 19:00, December 22 18:00, December 29 20:30
Ballett Zürich
Karina CanellakisConductorNov 22, 24, 29, Dec 01, 07, 11, 14, 29
Fabio LuisiConductorDec 22
Christian SchmidtSet Designer
Emma RyottCostume Designer
Anna KhamzinaDancer
Alexander JonesDancer
Filipe PortugalDancer
Yen HanDancer
Giulia TonelliDancer
William MooreDancer
Guanqun YuSoprano
Agnieszka RehlisMezzo-soprano
Stephen CostelloTenor
Georg ZeppenfeldBass
Zurich Opera
Zurich Opera Chorus
Philharmonia Zürich
Martin GephardtLighting Designer

Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem is one of the most popular pieces in the concert repertoire. In a sensational co-production between the Opernhaus Zürich and Ballett Zürich, Ballet Director Christian Spuck stages the oratorical work for four vocal soloists, large choir and orchestra as a combination of dance, abstract scenes, space and light.

Although he was no devotee of the Catholic church, Verdi set the Latin text of the Catholic funeral service to music in his requiem mass, which was premièred in 1874. His Requiem does not focus on ecclesiastical, religious messages, but on the last questions of human existence in general. Accordingly, Christian Spuck does not stage any horror scenarios of the Last Judgement (which are mentioned in the Latin liturgy), but has attempted an abstract visualisation of the music. His production examines the human being in the face of death and sensitively explores the notion of where we come from and where we are going – expressing everything from the terrifying proximity of death to isolation, from a sense of solidarity and community to the mourning process. By gently directing their movements, Christian Spuck places the quartet of solo vocalists in relationship with the dancers of the Ballett Zürich, who act out the enormous dramatic range of Verdi’s music, which extends from the solo dance of terror in Dies Irae to the intimate pas de deux of the Agnus Dei. For this revival production, American conductor Karina Canellakis, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic as of September 2019, will be at the rostrum of the Philharmonia Zurich. In Guanqun Yu, Veronica Simeoni, Francesco Meli and Georg Zeppenfeld, she will have a top-class Verdi ensemble at her side.

Giulia Tonelli © Gregory Batardon
December 2019
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