‘As death is the true goal of our existence, I have become so well acquainted with this true, best friend of humankind over the last few years that death’s image is not only no longer terrifying to me but is indeed very soothing and consoling.’ These musings by Mozart on life and death were the starting point for Raphaël Pichon and Romeo Castellucci’s interpretation of the composer’s emblematic unfinished Requiem. An expression of humankind’s existential dread in the face of mortality, this requiem mass confronts us with the transience of nature and culture, of humankind and of the individual. ‘We should understand and celebrate the end as the other side of a party, where the dance carries on. This Missa pro defunctis is thus transposed and its meaning changed.’ Thanks to Castellucci’s theatrical vision and the musical dramaturgy by Pichon, who supplements the work with other religious pieces by Mozart, this Requiem becomes the ultimate celebration of life.
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