Verdi Requiem

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November 2023 Next

Presentation text of the work:

Verdi's Requiem, an "opera of death"?

On May 22, 1873, the poet Alessandro Manzoni died. Verdi is upset by the disappearance of the poet, to whom he had addressed a dedication in 1867 "I esteem and venerate you as much as one can esteem and venerate on this earth, and as a man and as embodying the true honor of our tormented fatherland ". Thus the Republican composer wrote the next day to his publisher “I am deeply saddened by the death of this Great Man. Perhaps, after weighing and reflecting my strength, I will suggest something to honor his memory. ".

On May 22, 1874, the creation of the Messa da Requiem took place in the San Marco church in Milan, an execution requiring no less than one hundred and twenty choristers, one hundred instrumentalists and a vocal quartet, all under the demanding baton of Verdi. While the majority of critics and the public as a whole seem to appreciate Verdi's work, some criticize him for using a musical language resembling opera for a religious work, bringing his Requiem closer to an "opera of death".

However, this theatricality made some people happy, like Bizet: "when a passionate, violent, even brutal temperament, when a Verdi endows art with a living and strong work, steeped in gold and mud, gall and blood, let's not tell him coldly: 'But, dear sir, it lacks taste, it is not distinguished!' Did Michelangelo, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Beethoven , Cervantes and Rabelais are distinguished? ".

Dynamic and eclectic, the Hélios orchestra has established itself since its creation in 2014.

Its artistic director, Paul Savalle, promotes the professional integration of young musicians through orchestral practice. Thus, young graduates mingle with orchestral musicians, conductors and experienced soloists, in optimal working conditions.

From baroque music to contemporary music, the programs are varied. As for the repertoire, it is both symphonic and choral, the orchestra associating itself with the departmental and regional choirs.

Thanks to the collaboration of different conductors, the musicians approach a very rich repertoire by broadening their palette of interpretation. They all come from major French conservatories, some belonging to a national orchestra.

From the string quartet to the symphony orchestra, via the brass ensemble, the orchestra always expands its audience by modulating its composition. The “strings” formation performs in picturesque places that cannot accommodate a symphony orchestra, which allows the public to discover a very rich architectural heritage.

In short, thanks to its variable-geometry formation, the Hélios orchestra approaches the widest repertoire with passionate curiosity.

Program and cast

Verdi's Requiem

Helios Orchestra

Helios Ephemeral Choir


Saturday May 25 Matthieu Cabanes

Saturday November 09 Laurent Couson

Photo gallery

Church of the Madeleine

The parish of La Madeleine wishes to ensure a visible presence in the heart of Paris and to be attentive to our contemporaries. We speak of the base to describe the stone massifs that form the foundation of the church. But this base is also made of living stones made up of associations attentive to the wounded of life such as Ozanam Madeleine, the Espace Formation Informatique. The Foyer de la Madeleine serves more than three hundred meals every day at lunchtime with the aim of encouraging people to meet people who work or spend time in the neighbourhood.

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