Current Issue #488

Adelaide Festival celebrates life, death and Mozart in first 2020 announcement

Adelaide Festival celebrates life, death and Mozart in first 2020 announcement

Having made its international premiere in Aix-en-Provence earlier this month, Romeo Castellucci’s new production of Mozart’s Requiem will head to South Australia as the first piece of the 2020 Adelaide Festival program.

Famously unfinished at the time of his death in 1791, Mozart’s swansong has received a colourful and dramatic new reinterpretation at the hands of Castelluci, who has embellished the original work with Gregorian chants and lesser-known motifs from Mozart’s canon. Led by emerging Australian soprano Siohban Stagg alongside alto Sara Mingardo, bass Luca Tittoto and tenor Martin Mitterrutzner, the 2020 Adelaide production will see the current cast joined by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a 36-member chorus and the dancers of Australian Dance Theatre.

Requiem (Photo: Pascal Victor / Festival d’Aix en Provence)

Castelluci is no stranger to the festival, with his production of Giulio Casare appearing in the 2000 program and Go Down, Moses in 2016. A co-production between Adelaide Festival and Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Requiem is the first in a three-part collaboration between the two organisations that will see two more operatic works co-commissioned over the next three years.

“I enjoy breaking an idea which is fixed, so for me the most interesting way for an audience to approach Mozart is as if they’re experiencing it with new eyes and new ears and in a way re-examining his music for the first time,” Castellucci says of the production. “Requiem is a celebration, a festival, an opera and a dance which is full of joy. It represents our life: the reason life is so often beautiful and so precious, is that we won’t be here forever.”

Romeo Castellucci (Photo: Luca Del Pia)

“We have just returned from the premiere of Requiem in Aix-en-Provence where audiences were transfixed and critics responded with rapturous admiration for the breadth of Castellucci’s theatrical imagination and insights into the human condition,” Adelaide Festival artistic director Rachel Healy says of the news.

The announcement comes soon after the festival’s 2019 operatic drawcard, Komische Oper Berlin’s Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade-directed The Magic Flute took home multiple Helpmann Awards including Best Opera. The Helpmann Awards also recognised other 2019 festival highlights such as Gravity & Other Myths’ Out of Chaos… and Belvoir’s Counting and Cracking.

Four performances of Requiem will be staged at the Festival Theatre from Friday, February 28 to Wednesday, March 4. General public tickets will go on sale from Thursday, August 8.

Adelaide Festival 2020
February 28 – March 15

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