The Norwegian National Opera's first new production of the autumn season is Benjamin Britten’s monumental choral work War Requiem, directed by Calixto Bieito. It premieres on the Main Stage on 10 September. 

‘We have chosen to put on this work because we believe it still has significance today. It won’t put an end to combat or war crimes. But music has always played an important part of in dealing with pain and mourning,’ says the Artistic Director of Opera, Per Boye Hansen.

The power of music was also Benjamin Britten’s starting point when he composed this requiem mass in 1961 as a protest against the twentieth century’s two world wars. This will be the first time the work has been staged in Norway.

War Requiem was written and performed among the ruins of the second world war. The Requiem incorporates anti-war poetry by the young soldier Wilfred Owen, who died fighting in the first world war. Despite these historical connections, director Calixto Bieito believes this work is more relevant than ever today:

‘This is a requiem for everybody who dies every day, in terrorist attacks and war. This is our protest and our hope in the face of the world we see around us,’ says Bieito.

Appearing on stage will be young soloists Evan Le Roy Johnson, Natalia Tanasii and Johannes Kammler, together with an expanded opera chorus, a large opera orchestra and a children’s choir. The conductor will be Lothar Koenigs.


For press tickets, interviews and more information, please contact:

Hedda Høgåsen-Hallesby
E-mail: hhh@operaen.no