Verdi Requiem

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November 2020

Verdi's Requiem, an "opera of death"?

On 22 May 1873, the poet Alessandro Manzoni died. Verdi was deeply saddened by the poet's death, to whom he had addressed a dedication in 1867: "I esteem and venerate you as much as can be esteemed and venerated on this earth, and as a man and as the embodiment of the true honour of our tormented homeland". Thus the republican composer wrote the following day to his publisher "I am deeply grieved by the death of this Great Man. Perhaps, after weighing and reflecting on my strength, I will propose something to honour his memory. ».

On May 22, 1874 the Messa da Requiem was premiered in the church of San Marco in Milan, a performance requiring no less than one hundred and twenty choristers, one hundred instrumentalists and a vocal quartet, all under the demanding baton of Verdi. While the majority of critics and the general public seem to appreciate Verdi's work, some critics reproach him for using an operatic musical language for a religious work, bringing his Requiem closer to an "opera of death".

However, this theatricality made some people happy, like Bizet: "when a passionate, violent, even brutal temperament, when a Verdi endows art with a lively and strong work, full of gold and mud, bile and blood, let's not coldly say to him: 'But, dear Sir, it lacks taste, it is not distinguished!Are Michelangelo, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Cervantes and Rabelais distinguished? »

Program and cast

Orchestra: Hélios Orchestra

Direction: Jean-Charles Dunand

Choir: Tempestuoso Choir

Church of the Madeleine

The parish of La Madeleine wishes to ensure a visible presence in the heart of Paris and to be attentive to our contemporaries. We speak of the base to describe the stone massifs that form the foundation of the church. But this base is also made of living stones made up of associations attentive to the wounded of life such as Ozanam Madeleine, the Espace Formation Informatique. The Foyer de la Madeleine serves more than three hundred meals every day at lunchtime with the aim of encouraging people to meet people who work or spend time in the neighbourhood.

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