Bleach* Festival announces Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ for 2019

The world famous Opera has been unveiled as the centrepiece musical event for the 2019 Bleach* Festival.

The Gold Coast’s premier arts and cultural festival, Bleach* Festival, has announced that it will bring Guiseppe Verdi’s sombre classical masterpiece ‘Requiem’ to life in a blockbuster outdoor music concert under the stars at HOTA, Home of the Arts in April 2019.

The collaboration with Opera Queensland and Griffith University will transform HOTA’s epic outdoor stage into a fiery ceremonial sanctuary for a powerful rendition of the classic, directed by Opera Queensland Artistic Director Patrick Nolan and featuring over 150 musicians and singers.

In this special event, exclusive to the Gold Coast, leading site-specific designer and fire artist Alex Podger (Dark Mofo, Woodford Folk Festival) will design the outdoor space, with video and lighting by Mark Howett. Australian conductor Natalie Murray Beale – Creative Director of Independent Opera at London’s iconic Sadler’s Wells – will conduct.

Bleach* Festival’s Artistic Director and CEO Louise Bezzina said ‘Requiem’ was a defining event for the Gold Coast in the year following the Commonwealth Games.

“Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ provides the perfect score for a powerful moment in time, taking the Requiem as a symbol of new beginnings for both the City and the Festival,” Bezzina said.

“This proud collaboration with Opera Queensland is our centerpiece production for 2019 and an invitation to gather and look within ourselves.”

Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ is widely regarded as one of the post powerful works for orchestra and voice ever written. When Verdi’s dear friend, poet and national hero Alessandro Manzoni died, Verdi was too grief-stricken to attend the funeral, instead composing a requiem to honour his memory.

Director Patrick Nolan said ‘Requiem’ was a masterpiece for the stage; “once experienced, never forgotten”.

“Verdi’s gift for dramatic writing is on full display in this remarkable score,” Nolan said.

Asking the grand questions of life, it takes the audience on an intense musical journey from the depths of profound despair to ecstatic hope.

Bezzina said ‘Requiem’ was one of several Bleach* Festival major events for 2019, continuing the Festival’s commitment to site-specific, locally produced new work.

“Via Bleach* Festival, we are motivated to really showcase what the city has to offer: the natural beauty, the storytelling, the history, the palpable sense of invitation and fun, and the ­­locals’ generosity of spirit,” Bezzina said.

Tickets for Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ are on sale now to pre-exisiting subscribers via General public tickets are on sale from 1 November. Bleached Arts will announce the full Bleach* Festival program in February 2019.

Bleach* – The Gold Coast Festival is proudly supported by the City of Gold Coast; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Environment and Science; and Tourism and Events Queensland. 

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