Giuseppe Verdi


Nov 24 - Dec 2

The performances of Verdi’s Requiem are dedicated to the memory of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. 

For the first time since 2008, James Levine conducts a special series of concerts of Verdi’s great Mass, written in memory of Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni. The company has assembled a quartet of extraordinary soloists to join the incomparable Met Orchestra and Chorus: Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto.

Verdi Requiem Concert Series a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Crawford

Read Program
  • Sung In
  • Latin
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 1 hrs 24 mins
  • House Opens
  • 84 mins
  • Opera Ends
Nov 24 - Dec 2

This production has completed for the season.

Be sure to check out our remaining productions on the season list.

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Premiere: Church of San Marco, Milan, 1874. The Messa da Requiem (Italian for “Requiem Mass”) stands as a unique testimony to the artistic and human vision of Giuseppe Verdi, encapsulating all of his dramatic and psychological genius unfettered by the usual constraints of dramaturgy and theatrical practicalities. Never intended for liturgical use, the work is primarily a dramatization-in-concert of the issues at stake in that text: the battle of life against death as it is waged in the individual, the community, and the cosmos.


In a remarkable career spanning six decades in the theater, Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 28 operas, at least half of which are at the core of today’s repertoire. His role in Italy’s cultural and political development has made him an icon in his native country.

Giuseppe Verdi


Giuseppe Verdi


Verdi’s Requiem is a setting of the text for the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead as it existed from the Late Middle Ages to its revision in 1970. Much of the text shares elements with every Catholic Mass, but there are also additions specific to this Mass. In addition, unlike other Catholic liturgies, the Requiem includes a long section, a “sequence” from the “Dies irae” though the “Lacrimosa,” whose source is non-scriptural. Instead, the words come from a dramatic poem attributed to the Franciscan monk Thomas of Celano (ca. 1200–ca. 1265), vividly evoking the terrors of Hell and fears of the Judgment Day.


The score calls for a large chorus, full orchestra, and four soloists. The sensational effects found in Verdi’s operas are also in full force here—the thundering drama of the “Dies irae,” repeated at key moments throughout the piece, appropriately captures the terror associated with contemplating the end of time. This music also serves as a notable contrast to more intimate sections. Orchestral commentary on the “action” recalls the sophisticated techniques found in the operas of this mature phase of Verdi’s career. The chorus remains on stage throughout, which allows for a larger group than generally found in staged operas and one that can be utilized in many different ways. But the four soloists, who are given some of the most affecting vocal music Verdi ever wrote, bear the greatest share of communicating the ideas at stake in the monumental text.