Romeo Castellucci’s Requiem for 2020 Adelaide Festival

AF20 Requiem - photo by Pascal Victor_Festival d'Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-ProvenceAfter astounding audiences and critics alike at its recent world premiere in France, Romeo Castellucci’s production of Mozart’s masterpiece Requiem, will make its Australian debut in March with an exclusive season at the 2020 Adelaide Festival.

Mozart’s final work, which was unfinished at his death, has been transformed by radical director Romeo Castellucci into a powerful work for the stage. Hailed as “a splendid meditation on the beauty of the world and its disintegration” by Le Figaro (France), Castellucci creates a magnum opus full of pioneering visual power to match Mozart’s musical genius, in a ritual to celebrate life as much as honour the dead.

In addition to the Requiem, musical collaborator Raphaël Pichon has introduced rarely heard Mozart gems and Gregorian chant between movements to accentuate the origins of the arresting and superbly orchestrated score. Acclaimed British conductor Rory Macdonald, celebrated worldwide for his Mozart interpretations, will bring the production to life in partnership with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

A 36-member chorus will join the outstanding Aix-en-Provence cast with sought-after soloists including acclaimed alto Sara Mingardo and bass Luca Tittoto along with Australia’s rising star soprano Siobhan Stagg and Austrian tenor Martin Mitterrutzner.

“I have always had a great experience with Australian audiences at the Adelaide Festival; with Giulio Casare in 2000 and most recently Go Down, Moses in 2016,” said Director Romeo Castellucci. “I enjoy breaking an idea which is fixed, so for me the most interesting way for an audience to approach Mozart is as if they’re experiencing it with new eyes and new ears and in a way re-examining his music for the first time.”

“Requiem is a celebration, a festival, an opera and a dance which is full of joy. It represents our life: the reason life is so often beautiful and so precious, is that we won’t be here forever.”

Requiem is the first of three major operatic productions to be co-produced and co-commissioned between Adelaide Festival and Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence over a three year period. The historic agreement includes the two festivals collaborating on a range of initiatives for emerging South Australian artists and musicians as well as opportunities for both French and Australian arts workers across the industry.

“There is no other piece in music history that invites us to ponder life as poignantly as Mozart’s Requiem,” said Joint Artistic Director Neil Armfield AO. “From its mysterious origins to its posthumous completion, the mythology around this work hasn’t diluted the power of the composer’s voice in what has become universally known as perhaps the most moving masterpiece of all time.”

“This work is at the heart of our first co-production with the acclaimed Aix-en-Provence Festival and a centrepiece of our 2020 Adelaide Festival,” said Armfield.

Requiem will play at the Adelaide Festival Theatre from 28 February – 4 March as a part of the 2020 Adelaide Festival. The full Adelaide Festival program will be announced 16 October 2019. For more information, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Requiem – photo by Pascal Victor / Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence

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