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Requiem für einen Gefangenen (Luigi Dallapiccola und Jan Dismas Zelenka) – Premiere

Sun, 16. March 2025 | 19:00 UhrLuzerner Theater

The Luzerner Sinfonieorchester as the opera orchestra of the Lucerne Theater

Human dignity must be respected and protected. It is the highest good. That is how it should be. Worldwide. In the here and now. The highly emotional double bill “Requiem for a Prisoner” sounds and speaks of this highest good in the face of death. In the juxtaposition of the short opera “Il prigioniero” by Luigi Dallapiccola and Jan Dismas Zelenka’s “Requiem in D major”, you can hear how old and new interweave in a fascinating way to form an aesthetic whole.
As a reaction to fascism during the Second World War, Dallapiccola posed the question of human dignity in the face of political arbitrariness, persecution and oppression with “Il prigioniero” in 1949. The Italian composer set the opera at the time of the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th century and tells the story of the last night in the life of a prisoner shortly before his execution. Nightmares plague him, but when he finds the door to his dungeon open, he is filled with hope. He walks down the dark corridor, smelling the fresh spring air – and finds himself betrayed. In the end, he has to realize: The illusion of freedom and hope was his greatest torture.
Zelenka composed his Requiem on the occasion of the death of Emperor Augustus the Strong on February 1, 1733, creating an impressive masterpiece of Baroque musical art that leaves room for contemplative mourning and at the same time evokes the glorious resurrection of the emperor. Dignity, death and hope go hand in hand.
Human dignity is inviolable. In many parts of the world today, it is not. We dedicate this evening of theater to the courageous people who stand up for free will, free speech and freedom in its fullest sense, even at the cost of their own lives.

From March 16, 2025 on the stage of the Lucerne Theater.

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