Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem premiere with narration by Meryl Streep

Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem premiere with narration by Meryl Streep
© Tony Hauser

In what promises to be an evening of powerful music, the long anticipated premiere of Dream Requiem by Rufus Wainwright takes place in Paris on June 14. Meryl Streep narrates alongside soprano Anna Prohaska accompanied by the Orchestra Philharmonique and Choirs of Radio France under the baton of Mikko Franck.

Wainwright on the work - “Dream Requiem stems from two creative and musical ideas which matured in parallel in my mind and which were brought together in 2020 by two events of dramatic consequence: the COVID­19 pandemic and the California wildfires. My fascination for the Requiem as a form goes back to my early teenage years, when I first heard Giuseppe Verdi’s setting of the Mass for the dead. The experience transformed me as a human being and pointed the way for me as an artist. Opera became my ‘secret weapon’ as a singer songwriter and I have since composed two operas of my own: Prima Donna and Hadrian”.

He continues “Recognising the recent rise in the incidence of natural catastrophes, I combined the Latin text of the Mass with Lord Byron’s apocalyptic poem ‘Darkness’, written after the 1815 eruption of the volcano Mount Tambora, located in what is now Indonesia. The subsequent global dispersion of ash gave rise to the so-­called Year Without a Summer".

On working with Meryl Streep - “Like probably the rest of the world, I have admired Meryl Streep ever since I saw the first movie with her. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her personally over the last few years and apart from being the most incredible actress, she is also one of the most warm­ hearted human beings I know. To have her be part of the world creation of the Dream Requiem is an honour beyond anything I could have hoped for. Thank you, Meryl, for trusting me and giving your incomparable voice, heart and spirit to this piece”.

Commissioned by Radio France, The Royal Ballet, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona, Auditori de Barcelona, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra the premiere of Dream Requiem will be broadcast live on France Musique, the France Musique website and ARTE Concert. The concert will be recorded for release in Autumn 2024 by Warner Classics/Erato.

Listen to the broadcast of the concert through Arte or Radio France.


Explore more music by Rufus Wainwright:
Hadrian (One Hour Version)
Prima Donna

Related News