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After thunderous applause and standing ovations in Europe, choreographer Christian Spuck’s monumental production of Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece Messa da Requiem, featuring Ballett Zürich, will make its Australian debut in March with an exclusive season at the 2023 Adelaide Festival.

First performed in Milan in 1874, Verdi’s mighty Messa da Requiem is an oratorio with opera coursing through its veins. Christian Spuck - who won the 2019 Prix Benois de la Danse (the ballet world’s ‘Oscars’) for best choreography - thrusts this already spectacular work into a new orbit with 200 performers: Ballett Zürich dancers, plus choristers, soloists and musicians – together giving Verdi’s score physical shape; a huge mass of humanity conjuring all the emotions we universally associate with death and hope for redemption.

Internationally celebrated German conductor Johannes Fritzsch will bring the production to life in partnership with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra while the Adelaide Festival Chorus - an 80-strong choral ensemble - will join sought-after soloists including acclaimed tenor Paul O’Neill, soprano Eleanor Lyons, mezzo soprano Caitlin Hulcup and bass Pelham Andrews. Christian Spuck integrates 200 singers, musicians and dancers into the maelstrom of his extraordinary stage design.

Originally programmed for the 2021 and then 2022 Adelaide Festival, the work fell victim to pandemic pressures over two years.

Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival Ruth Mackenzie said:
“Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy worked tirelessly to bring this work to Adelaide over the past 2 years, so we’re thrilled to announce Messa da Requiem as the centrepiece of the 2023 Adelaide Festival. Together with Ballett Zürich, we are excited to share the experience with over 160 local singers and musicians from Adelaide who will be on stage at the Adelaide Festival Theatre over four performances.”

Director of Messa da Requiem Christian Spuck said:
“We are happy to bring this production, which is very close to my heart, to Australian audiences. It is a privilege to be part of one of Australia's greatest cultural destinations and most celebrated arts festivals in the world. We can't wait to finally come to Adelaide in March 2023!”

Messa de Requiem is presented in association with Adelaide Festival, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Festival Chorus and through the generous support of State Opera South Australia. The season will play at the Adelaide Festival Theatre from 8-11 March 2023. The full Adelaide Festival 2023 program will be launched on 9 November.

“...thundered across the stage like human rage made visible: the words ‘high drama’ don't define the sensation accurately enough” - Bachtrack

“A massive dance and music event… exceeds all expectations” - Tanznetz

“After a good 95 minutes you will rub your eyes in amazement and wish for the performance to start again” - DrehPunktKultur