Cologne Opera

Visual Content for 3-Channel Video Projections

Conductor Hans von Bülow described Giuseppe Verdi’s „Messa da Requiem,“ premiered on May 22, 1874, in the Church of San Marco in Milan and later performed at La Scala, as an „opera in sacred garb.“ This highlights the unique position of the mass between a sacred concert piece and an effective musical drama. The text is based on the Latin wording of the liturgical text collection compiled by the Council of Trent (1543-1563). The composition was prompted by the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni, the great poet and representative of Italy’s national unity. Sixty-year-old Giuseppe Verdi, at least anti-clerical if not faith-skeptical, designed various stages in his „Messa da Requiem“ using his signature music-theatrical means, addressing the situation of mortality-aware humans and the ultimate questions of human existence. With its scenically prepared rendition of this musical work, incorporating real biographical accounts, the Cologne Opera attempts a concretization of „eternal“ themes using the example of the lived reality of modern people.

Premiere Sunday, October 30, 2011

Musical Direction: Fabrice Bollon

Direction: Clemens Bechtel

Stage: Matthias Schaler

Costumes: Sabina Moncys

Lighting: Andreas Grüner

Video: Lucy Milanova, Uli Sigg

Dramaturgy: Georg Kehren

Choir Direction: Andrew Ollivant

Soprano: Adina Aaron

Mezzo-soprano: Jovita Vaskeviciute

Tenor: Michael Fabiano

Bass: Dimitry Ivashchenko

Speaker: Dogan Akhanli

Speaker: Martina Franck

Speaker: Sonja Grolig

Speaker: Caroline Klütsch

Choir: Cologne Opera Choir

Orchestra: Gürzenich-Orchestra Cologne