A broadcast date has been announced for Mozart’s Requiem, Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s powerful staged collaboration.
“an unforgettably moving staging” ★★★★★ — The Times
The 50-minute long film of the stage production, produced by Opera North in partnership with The Space and BBC Arts, will premiere on BBC Four on Sunday 24 September at 8pm, and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
Filmed live at Leeds Grand Theatre in June 2023, the stage production combines Mozart’s awe-inspiring choral masterpiece with the intensely expressive physicality of two leading contemporary dance ensembles.
The international collaboration sees Leeds-based Opera North and Phoenix Dance Theatre join forces with South African partners Jazzart Dance Theatre and Cape Town Opera as part of LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture.
Mozart’s fascinating final work, the Requiem is a funeral mass composed shortly before his own death at the age of 35. It is a work that vividly confronts human mortality in music of unearthly beauty, taking audiences on a journey of the soul from the agony of loss to the terror of judgement and the freedom of redemption. The production, conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, takes Mozart’s music as an act of remembrance, honouring those we have lost – and examining what life means for those left behind in a reflective and hopeful expression of the beauty, brutality and brevity of life.
Led by the creative team of Phoenix Dance Theatre guest choreographer and former artistic director Dane Hurst, Opera North Music Director Garry Walker, and co-designers Joanna Parker and Peter Mumford, Requiem is performed by nine dancers drawn from the ensembles of Phoenix Dance Theatre and Jazzart Dance Theatre, the full Orchestra and 36 singers of the Chorus of Opera North. Taking the solo roles are soprano Ellie Laugharne, alto Ann Taylor, tenor Mongezi Mosoaka, and bass Simon Shibambu.
General Director of Opera North, Richard Mantle, comments:
“2023 is a year to remember for culture in Leeds, and we are thrilled now to be able to share the film of Requiem with audiences of BBC 4 and BBC iPlayer across the UK. Staged earlier this year as part of LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture, this proved to be a remarkable and deeply moving collaboration, breathing exciting new life into Mozart’s final work through the heartfelt choreography of Dane Hurst and the commitment of so many talented performers from the UK and South Africa.”
Watch Requiem on BBC Four on Sunday 24 September at 8pm, or catch up via BBC iPlayer.