Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Ballet and Opera Zurich | on Arte
With the Messa da Requiem, Christian Spuck brings one of Giuseppe Verdi’s key works to the stage. In a large-scale co-production by the Ballet and Opera Zurich, the German choreograph and director ventures to portray an overwhelming interpretation of Verdi’s funeral mass in his scenic-choreographic interpretation.
36 dancers, the choir of the Zurich Opera and four highly acclaimed soloists Krassimira Stoyanova, Veronica Simeoni, Francesco Meli and Georg Zeppenfeld join together under the direction of Fabio Luisi for 13 wide-ranging scenes that are dedicated to one of the most fundamental themes of humanity. Similar to how Verdi goes beyond the purely Christian version of death and resurrection in his music, Christian Spuck doesn’t seek a mere religious interpretation of the liturgical text. Instead, he is interested in using his interpretation to focus on people who, in their vulnerability and helplessness, are in the search for comfort. In poetic states of mind he deals with basic human emotions and focuses on the feelings of fear, rage, pain, sadness and the search for redemption. The choirs act on stage together with the dancers and take part in ritualized movements and sequences. In this way, surprising and at times disturbing elements enable a new outlook on one of the great masterpieces of classical music.
Through its meditation and scenic elements such as a thorn bush and mobile spotlights, Christian Schmidt’s set – a monumental, dark and yet vibrant use of space – opens a multifaceted repertoire of presentational and acting possibilities. The English costume designer Emma Ryott adds colorful contrasts: while the soloists and choir appear in dark colors, the vulnerability of humans is emphasized in the light and transparent costumes of the dancers