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Ballettzurich © Cheilopoulou


The 29 December 2019
Opernhaus - Zurich

Verdi : Messa da Requiem

1 h 30
  • Philharmonia Zürich
  • Chor der Oper Zürich
  • Ballett Zürich
    Junior Ballett Zürich
  • Conductor
    Karina Canellakis
  • Director
    Christian Spuck
  • Performers
    Guanqun Yu
    Veronica Simeoni
    Francesco Meli
    Georg Zeppenfeld
  • Choreographe
    Christian Spuck
Details on the Performance

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, Agnieszka Rehlis, Stephen Costello and Georg Zeppenfeld, she will have a top-class Verdi ensemble at her side.

Source © Opernhaus Zurich

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Videos

Opernhaus - Zurich Location Falkenstrasse 1 - 8008 Zurich Suisse

  • Venue's Capacity: 1200

The Venue's History in few words …

The Zurich Opera House is famous the world over for both opera and dance. It is among the most important European theatres and plays host to leading conductors. The original theatre built in 1833 was replaced by the present building which was opened in 1891. It was the venue for the first performance of Parsifal outside Germany.

The history of the Opernhaus has indeed been punctuated by numerous premieres: Turandot by Busoni in 1917, Lulu in 1937, Mathis der Mahler and Cardillac by Hindemith (1938 and 1952) and Moses und Aron by Schönberg in 1957. Several major conductors such as Otto Ackerman, Hans Knappertsbuch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted a varied repertoire always with the greatest singers (Lisa della Casa was for instance a member of the Opernhaus company).

It was at the Studiobühne too that the young singers Gwyneth Jones and Edith Mathis perfected their craft. One of the most outstanding events of its history was the “re-staging” for the first time of the operas of Monteverdi and Mozart performed on period instruments at the instigation of the pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt supported by the legendary stage settings of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. These productions contributed to the renaissance of Baroque opera and the rediscovery of a vast repertoire.

Today the Opernhaus is one of the few theatres that can pride itself on presenting the greatest stars of the opera world in one and the same season. With its well-thought out and varied programming, the audience has every reason to be satisfied.


The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
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