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The federal opera house in the capital of Europe



Dedicated to the victims of the war in Ukraine.

Peter de Caluwe
Reading time
3 min.

La Monnaie would like to dedicate this series of performances of the Requiem to Ukrainian citizens and children, victims of a ruthless aggressor intent on reducing a nation, a people, a tradition, a culture, a language and so much more to ‘nothingness’.

I feel that Mozart’s Requiem resonates with our time, both in the music and the words. We can sense the fear mankind shares in the face of its own extinction – the extinction of both the individual and the species. [...] The end, the demise, that is our horizon and also that of the universe. Everything will end in a slow dissolution into nothingness.
— Romeo Castellucci

In the astounding production of Mozart’s Requiem, we are confronted by a long list of animal and plant species, peoples, religions, languages, etc. rendered extinct by mankind. It is an Atlas of Great Extinctions, a seemingly endless litany of defunct traditions, lost ethnic groups, ravaged architecture, burnt earth... It is a negative trajectory of the Creation, a warning that what we are now, will one day disappear. In some cases, faster than we can imagine...

There is no denying that man has brought this upon himself. Two burning issues rub our noses in it: climate change, which affects the entire world population, and the senseless war that is shaking the very foundations of our continent. We very much hope that this production will make you reflect on these relevant topics. Devastating tsunamis, destructive forest fires, dramatic floods... and ruthless people, or what pass for people. A life-threatening cocktail that will weigh heavily on future generations.

We would like to dedicate this series of performances of Mozart’s beautiful and haunting Requiem to Ukrainian citizens and children who are experiencing first-hand what it means ‘not to exist’, who are in danger of being annihilated by a blind and inhumane group looking to destroy a nation, a people, a tradition, a culture, a language and so much more in an attempt to reduce them to ‘nothingness’... In whose name? In the name of what?

Peter de Caluwe

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