Staatsoper Hamburg: Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem (March 27th, 2018)

By , March 29, 2018 22:07

First: The obvious (in German):

Inszenierung: Calixto Bieito
Musikalische Leitung: Kevin John Edusei
Bühnenbild: Susanne Gschwender
Kostüme: Anja Rabes
Licht: Franck Evin
Dramaturgie: Janina Zell
Chor: Eberhard Friedrich
Sopran: Maria Bengtsson
Mezzosopran: Nadezhda Karyazina
Tenor: Dmytro Popov
Bass: Gábor Bretz
Orchester: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
Chor: Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper

Then, some impressions: https://youtu.be/y7cYktDec9Y
Some more under: https://www.staatsoper-hamburg.de/de/spielplan/stueck.php?AuffNr=146681#pagenav
And: In the journal you can also find impressions and ideas: https://www.staatsoper-hamburg.de/downloads/1718/journal/Journal_2017-18_4.pdf?m=1520254437&

The fact, that I do add more links and external information might give you an indication, that this is something more important to me.

Before going to Hamburg, I did have the chance to watch the production, staged by Christian Spuck, from Zürich, which is also available on DVD/BluRay (https://www.opernhaus.ch/service/shop/dvd-verdi-requiem/) from the 3Sat Mediathek. I also again (as usual) did prepare myself by listening to the opus itself in advance a couple times, here I was using https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00D6UV0V4/.

Contrary to many other of Bieito’s stagings (this is my 17th of his stagings, so I guess, I can compare… 🙂 ), this was a very silent staging with slow action on stage, which suited very well with the opus itself, as it allowed the singers to still intensely sing. Also the contrast of some happily playing children in the background of the stage and the mourning adults in the front was intensifying the experince. And Bieito’s usage of the quadratic blocks, which we can also see on graveyards more in the south suited very well with the theme of the Messa.

When the curtain rises, we see a wall of quadrats in the front, open, and each quadrat big enough, that it can hold a person cowering in such a quadrat. Still, there is nothing in, also not any urns, but we can see through onto the colorful back wall of the stage. This gives an impression of the color-glass windows of a modern church.

Later these quadratic walls are moved to the back and the side-walls (also such quadratic blocks) are moved around to open up the space for the chorus, and the children.

As the messa is not really an opera, Bieito, contrary to what Spuck did in Zürich, where there is a huge and very movement-ful Ballett taking place, created a theme of a family with a child. So, we for example, see the Soprano and the child playing soccer, or also even just passing the ball between the two/three of them. All in all, Bieito did find well suiting movements to the music, and also the chorus was included in that stage-action.

For the “Libera me” the quadratic wall from the back comes down very slowly and is laid onto the stage. The chorus starts hiding in the quadratic places, and sings from there, just their heads viewable.

All in all, after close to 80 minutes, I found myself in the chair hoping for a “once again, once again”. Sadly, they didn’t fulfill my wish…

Highly recommended!

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