There are three spectacular elements that led to an emotionally intense operatic masterpiece on a Sydney winter night- The Opera House, Opera Australia, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem (10-11th August 2017).
I arrived at The Opera House and found my seat, eagerly awaiting the dimming of the lights. Opera Australia created a strikingly theatrical work with moments of sublime introspection, setting it apart from other well-known masses.
Requiem exemplifies the power of music to create, provoke, and move all listeners alike. This work lends the drama of opera to a very deep and personal expression of grief. If it is anything, Requiem is a journey of intense human emotion.
Under the baton of Renato Palumbo, the Opera Australia Orchestra and Chorus were absolutely spectacular in reaching heavenly heights as well as emotional depths.
The outpouring of grief in ‘Lachrymose’ and a testimony of devotion in ‘Lux Astern’ build up to the climatic moment (one that we were all waiting for) – Dies Irae. The whirling fury of more than 100 instrumentalists, four solo vocalists, and a choir of thundering voices in this piece filled the concert hall with sheer terror.
Dies Irae is followed later by an ominous ‘Rex tremendae’, which treats us to the rich and powerful vocals of Diego Torre. However, Bass soloist Roberto Scandiuzzi stole the show. His resonate voice and strong stage presence projected right to the back of the hall and through some of the dense sounds of the orchestra.
Rarely looking at his lyrics, Scanduzzi proved that he is a veteran performer and Verdi specialist. Both, Soprano, Serena Farnocchia, and mezzo-soprano, Milijana Nikolic, provided intermittent relief as their soaring voices cut through the otherwise melancholic tones.
The vigorous rhythms contrasted with delicate melodies are a masterstroke by a master of operatic works. Verdi’s Requiem stands alone as one of the greatest choral works of all time.
Antoinette Milienos is a Journalist, Freelance Writer, Violinist, and chronic sufferer of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Requiem runs from 10-11th of August 2017 at the Concert Hall at The Opera House Sydney (Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000).