An absolute highlight of Salzburg’s Mozart week: At the time-honoured Felsenreitschule, the French equine artist and theatrical genius Bartabas presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem. Horses
and riders from the formidable Académie Équestre de Versailles join forces with the Musiciens du Louvre, conducted by Mark Minkowski, the Salzburger Bachchor and four excellent soloists (Genia Kühmeier, Elisabeth Kulman, Julien Behr and Charles Dekeyser) to place the Requiem, one of Mozart’s most popular and yet most profound and sublime creations, into a new theatrical context.
Restoring the Felsenreitschule’s original purpose – a riding school – and at the same time including its impressive architecture of arcades into the musical dramaturgy, the production is a breath-taking synthesis of the arts. By meticulously refining the skilfully regulated interactions between humans, animals and music, Bartabas and his horsemen have created a production which is much more than a great show riding choreography: it’s a moving exploration of the interconnectedness of existence.
It is Bartabas himself who opens the “poetic dance” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) on his splendid stallion Caravage, tracing the musical rhetoric of the Requiem in a “profound and touching” manner. Impressing the audience with their extraordinary artistic skills, the French elite group of riders create “pictures of archaic force, melting together with Mozart’s music in the same way they melt together with their horses […] A piece of art with an exceptional power of attraction” (Schwäbische Zeitung).