The Verdi Requiem

San Francisco Opera and Italy’s Teatro di San Carlo of Naples will present a combined concert of Verdi’s choral masterpiece, Messa da Requiem, Friday October 25 at the War Memorial Opera House.
Nicola Luisotti, Music Director of both companies, will conduct this historic performance featuring 320 choristers and orchestra members on stage plus vocal soloists Leah Crocetto, Margaret Mezzacappa, Michael Fabiano and Vitalij Kowaljow.

SAN FRANCISCO (May 28, 2013)—San Francisco Opera today announced unprecedented plans to combine musical forces with Italy’s renowned Real Teatro di San Carlo of Naples for a historic concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s choral masterpiece, Messa da Requiem on Friday, October 25, 2013. Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti, much-admired music director of both international companies, will lead 320 choristers and orchestra members on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Joining this extraordinary ensemble will be the four vocal soloists, soprano Leah Crocetto, mezzo-soprano Margaret Mezzacappa (replacing the previously announced Jamie Barton), tenor Michael Fabiano and bass Vitalij Kowaljow.

This unique presentation of the Requiem is offered as part of the worldwide Verdi bicentennial celebration and in recognition of 2013 The Year of Italian Culture in the United States, an initiative held under the auspices of the president of the Italian Republic.

Verdi’s Messa da Requiem premiered in May 1874 in Milan and was composed to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Alessandro Manzoni, the celebrated Italian writer and one of the leaders of the Italian Risorgimento, the Italian unification movement. Verdi himself conducted the world premiere of one hundred twenty chorus singers and an orchestra of one hundred musicians. The work was immediately hailed as a masterpiece and quickly performed in the world’s leading music capitals, all to critical and popular acclaim. Verdi’s Requiem is set in seven movements: Requiem and Kyrie; Dies Irae; Offertorio; Sanctus; Agnus Dei; Lux aeterna; and Libera me.

To read the complete press release, click here.

This concert performance is not included on any Full or Half Series.

Approximate running time: 90 minutes with no intermission

Luisotti photo: Terrence McCarthy; Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra photo by Cory Weaver

Audio excerpts from the May 29, 2009 performance of the Verdi Requiem with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Donald Runnicles, with soloists Heidi Melton, Stephanie Blythe, Stefano Secco and Andrea Silvestrelli.


Production Credits

Conductor Nicola Luisotti

* San Francisco Opera Debut


The Verdi Requiem is made possible, in part, by The Bernard Osher Endowment Fund. Nicola Luisotti’s appearance made possible by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Chairs, Amici di Nicola of Camerata. Mr. Kowaljow’s appearance is made possible by a gift to the Great Singers Fund by Joan and David Traitel. Special thanks to the Consulate General of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco and COMITES of San Francisco.

Cast, program, prices and schedule are subject to change.