In the wake of Aida, at the pinnacle of his glory, Verdi was deeply affected by the death of the poet A. Manzoni in 1873. A hero of the Italian unification, the Messa da Requiem (Requiem Mass) is dedicated to him. Verdi proposed it to the city of Milan and it was performed for the first time in the San Marco church for the anniversary of Manzoni’s death. It is a monumental piece of music that met with much enthusiasm and immediately joined the ranks of absolute masterpieces.
Verdi was criticised for having written an “opera in a clergyman’s robes”! But whilst a Requiem may well be sacred text – it is the sole libretto that Verdi did not go on to modify – it is also a reflection on death… like his operas! It is hardly surprising that certain scenes can be fearsome (Dies Irae), others may be contemplative (Requiem aeternam), whilst some express sadness tinted with hope (Lacrymosa) or implore (Libera me)! Verdi’s religious style is not different from that of opera, but is no less sincere. It bears witness to the existential questions of a man who speaks from the heart. The text of Requiem offers all the possibilities of expression and allows this agnostic to convey his vision of human destiny
CHANGE OF CAST
For health reasons, several replacements will be made in the cast of soloists for Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, which will be performed on Saturday November 25 with our Orchestra and Choir (in collaboration with the Chœur de Chambre de Namur) and conducted by Maestro Giampaolo Bisanti.
The soprano part will be performed by Ms Marigona Qerkezi, the tenor part by Mr Arturo Chacón-Cruz, and the bass part by Mr Erwin Schrott. The mezzo-soprano part will be performed, as originally planned, by Ms Anna Maria Chiuri.