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© Chris Van der Burght

Requiem pour L.

Fabrizio Cassol, Alain Platel

In this Mass with 14 musicians and singers, meditation and exaltation join in a divine embrace. Requiem pour L. invites death to a rainbow celebration where jazz and African rhythms encounter Mozart.


What if the end of life is something to be celebrated? Resurrecting the power of Mozart’s uncompleted and mythical opus Requiem, the dynamic duo consisting of composer Fabrizio Cassol and choreographer Alain Platel forces us to look death in the face. Fourteen musicians and singers from every continent invite the audience to a Mass where meditation and exaltation join together in a divine embrace.

Both a release and a rush of emotions, the piece crystallizes the final moments of a woman’s life, sublimating them in a sacred ode dedicated to all the living of this earth. Opera, jazz and African rhythms accompany L. as she takes her last breath in a memorial that resonates with the fervent footsteps of pulsing gumboots. By means of rituals far removed from Western funeral rites, and augmented by the vivid intensity of voices and bodies, Requiem pour L. becomes a deeply moving work that rejuvenates our conception of death. It is not adieu, but a call to life.


Produced by les ballets C de la B + Festival de Marseille + Berliner Festspiele
Music Fabrizio Cassol after Mozart’s Requiem
Direction and Set Design Alain Platel
Conductor Rodriguez Vangama
Created with and performed by Rodriguez Vangama (guitar and electric bass) + Boule Mpanya + Fredy Massamba + Russell Tshiebua (vocals) + Nobulumko Mngxekeza + Owen Metsileng + Maribeth Diggle (lyric vocals) + Joao Barradas/Charles Kieny (accordion) + Kojack Kossakamvwe (electric guitar) + Niels Van Heertum (euphonium) + Bouton Kalanda + Erick Ngoya + Silva Makengo (likembe) + Michel Seba (percussions)
Created with Joao Barradas (accordion) + Stephen Diaz + Rodrigo Ferreira (vocals)
Dramaturge Hildegard De Vuyst
Video Alain Platel + Natan Rosseel + Simon Van Rompay
Light Design Carlo Bourguignon
Sound Design Guillaume Desmet + Carlo Thompson
Costume Design Dorine Demuynck
Musical Assistant Maribeth Diggle
Choreographic Assistant Quan Bui Ngoc
Set Construction Wim Van de Cappelle in collaboration with Scenography atelier NTGent
Stage Manager and Technical Director Jan Mergaert
Photography Chris Van der Burght
Production Managers Valerie Desmet +  Katrien Van Gysegem
Direction Assistant and Tour Manager Steve De Schepper
Trainee performing arts Lisaboa Houbrechts
Trainee theatre engineering Ijf Boullet
Distribution Frans Brood Productions

Co-produced by Opéra de Lille + Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris) + Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg + Onassis Cultural Centre Athens + TorinoDanza (Turin) + Aperto Festival/Fondazione I Teatri (Reggio Emilia) + Kampnagel Hamburg + Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele + Festspielhaus Sankt Pölten + L’Arsenal (Metz) + Scène Nationale du Sud-Aquitain (Bayonne) + Ville de Marseille – Opéra
With the support of The Flemish authorities +  City of Ghent + Province East Flanders + North Sea Port + Belgian Tax Shelter

Thanks to Isnelle da Silveira + Filip De Boeck + Barbara Raes + Griet Callewaert + Atelier NTGent+ Madame S.P. + Mademoiselle A.C. + Fondation Camargo + Sylvain Cambreling + Connexion vzw

We are sincerely grateful to L. and her family for their exceptional candour, their deep trust and the unique support to this special project.
In dialogue with Dr. Marc Cosyns

Presented by La Presse in association with Place des Arts + Carrefour international de théâtre (Québec City) + National Arts Centre (Ottawa) + Luminato Festival (Toronto)

Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at Berliner Festspiele, on January 18, 2018


© Chris Van der Burght

Fabrizio Cassol (Ghent)

Saxophonist with the group Aka Moon, Cassol communicates with musicians from all over the world, and often inserts oral and written traditions into existing pieces.

Full biography
© Chris Van der Burght

Alain Platel (Ghent)

The Flemish choreographer and director Alain Platel has been pushing against the limits of the performing arts since founding ballets C de la B in 1984.

Full biography