Calliope Tsoupaki – Bosch Requiem

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The brand-new Bosch Requiem that will be performed on All Souls Day (2 November) is written by November Music festival composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Tsoupaki’s requiem is a musical ode to the Virgin Mary in times of doubt and distress…   

The Greek / Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki places Maria in the middle of her brand new Bosch Requiem. Liknon is a baroque ode to the mother of all mothers and means baby swing cradle. With some of Mary’s icons on her death bed, you see Jesus holding her as a newborn baby in his arms, so the circle is complete.

Maria is inextricably linked to her life for Componist des Vaderlands and November Music festival composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Maria is part of the Byzantine tradition in which Tsoupaki grew up. Maria is honored through countless icons. The composer is particularly fascinated by the icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (The Madonna of Myrtle) that can be found on the Greek island of Kythira. According to the myth, the image of Mary was found in burning myrtle bushes. Maria’s face is completely black on this icon. An idea that fascinates Tsoupaki immensely. “Beauty in the darkness,” said the composer.

A requiem requires heavenly singing. For Liknon, Calliope is inspired by the expressive and lyrical timbre of the two central vocalists, countertenor Maarten Engeltjes and tenor Marcel Beekman. Two top voices that are also internationally successful. Tsoupaki wrote a passionate requiem especially for this exceptional duo and the baroque ensemble PRJCT Amsterdam. She used the Marian songs from the book Theotokarion by poet Agapios Landos (1580-1656) from Crete as text material.

Bosch Requiem is part of a surprising total evening directed by MATZER Theater Productions. Prior to the world premiere of Calliope Tsoupaki’s new requiem, writer Lot Vekemans recites a text written especially for this occasion. As a starting shot for the entire evening, Tsoupaki composes a new ritual choral work. The play is performed in the open air by Bossche choirs, visitors to the Bosch Requiem and attendees in the square of the Parade.

More info about the concert

Article by Thea Derks in the Cultuurpers

Article by Nicoline Baartman/VPRO

Article by Mischa Spel/NRC