Verdi’s Requiem is sometimes referred to as the composer’s twenty-sixth opera. He began to compose the work on the death of Gioachino Rossini in 1868 and completed it in 1874, dedicating the piece to yet another major figure in Italian culture – Alessandro Manzoni. The grand premiere took place in Milan under the baton of the composer and featured the finest singers in Italy.
Today, the emotional power of Verdi’s music proves attractive to stage directors. Their desire to transform the mass into a production may be explained by the musical style of the Requiem itself.
Daniele Finzi Pasca is convinced that “The Requiem, first and foremost, contains musical tension, a search. It is a prayer that has such tremendously vast expressive power that it allows us to search for another expressive form of interpretation which is not always possible in a concert performance and also to see the Requiem as an operatic work. This opus allows the soloists and chorus to reflect on the meaning of life. There are pieces of music that literally demand visual images. The scenes that we are trying to create in our production of the Requiem are not narrative, rather they create a dialogue with the meaning that we attach to our image of God.
This Requiem was conceived specifically with the Mariinsky Theatre in mind. In this production I want to denude the stage. And we will see the full beauty of this old theatre as a living being.
The premiere production team includes: Valery Gergiev (Musical Director and Conductor), Mikhail Agrest (Conductor), Daniele Finzi Pasca (Stage Director), Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin (Production Concept), Jean Rabasse (Production Designer), Giovanna Buzzi (Costume Designer), Daniele Finzi Pasca and Alexis Bowles (Lighting Designers), Roberto Vitalini (Video Designer), Chiqui Barbé (Make-Up Designer), Marina Mishuk (Musical Preparation) and Andrei Petrenko (Principal Chorus Master).
The premiere is being rehearsed by sopranos Anna Markarova, Tatiana Pavlovskaya and Viktoria Yastrebova, mezzo-sopranos Zlata Bulycheva, Nadezhda Serdyuk and Natalia Yevstafieva, tenors Yevgeny Akimov, Khachatur Badalian and Sergei Semishkur, basses Ilya Bannik, Vladimir Felyauer and Alexander Morozov and Anna Moshnikova as the child.
The Sberbank of Russia, Yoko Ceschina, Gazprom and JT International
TOTAL, BP, TeliaSonera, Zarubezhneftestroimontazh, VTB Bank
Vnesheconombank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MDM Bank, BOMBARDIER and Sistema JSFC
Sponsor of the grand gala concert:
Sponsor of the festival and the concert on 22 June 2012:
the Hennessy Social and Cultural Foundation and PepsiCo