October 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Requiem pour L.

© Julie Charland
© Chris Van Der Burght
© Chris Van Der Burght
© Chris Van Der Burght
© Chris Van Der Burght
© Chris Van Der Burght
Francophone Music Masterworks Vocal Jazz Theatre Musicals
Reframing Mozart’s Requiem as an exuberant African dance/chorus

For their unique and unusual Requiem, Alain Platel and Fabrizio Cassol take advantage of the fact that Mozart’s final work was left unfinished to construct a highly unconventional musical and cultural fusion. Blending Western and African influences, they orchestrate a vibrant dance/chorus, a theatrical ritual that celebrates death in all its brilliance.

A film projected above the stage shows L., an elderly woman, living out her final moments surrounded by her loved ones. On the stage itself, black blocks suggest gravestones, a memorial. Performed by 14 musicians and singers, this ode to the dead is transformed into a luminous ritual, profound and transcendent.

Foregrounding the links between counterpoint and African polyphony, Fabrizio Cassiol’s score merges lyrical singing, jazz and popular music. Performers from South Africa, Europe and Congo play and sing while staring death in the face. A prominent figure on the contemporary arts scene, Alain Platel—choreographer, director, and founder of les ballets C de la B, in Antwerp—takes a measured and sensitive approach to the theme of end of life, embracing mourning and hope with equal purpose.

Requiem for L., Cassol and Platel’s fifth collaborative creation, is the first Ballets C de la B production to be included in an NAC French Theatre season.

Performance is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.


  • Music Fabrizio Cassol, based on Mozart’s Requiem
  • Directed by Alain Platel
  • Conductor Rodriguez Vangama
  • By and with Rodriguez Vangama (guitar and electric bass), Fredy Massamba, Boule Mpanya, Russell Tshiebua (vocals), Stephen Diaz/Rodrigo Ferreira, Owen Metsileng, Nobulumko Mngxekeza (lyrical singing), Joao Barradas/Charles Kieny (accordion), Kojack Kossakamvwe (electric guitar), Niels Van Heertum (euphonium), Bouton Kalanda, Silva Makengo, Erick Ngoya (likembe) and Michel Seba (percussion)
  • Dramaturg Hildegard De Vuyst
  • Assistant music director Maribeth Diggle
  • Assistant choreographer Quan Bui Ngoc
  • Assistant director and tour manager Steve De Schepper
  • Sets Alain Platel
  • Lighting Carlo Bourguignon
  • Sound Carlo Thompson and Guillaume Desmet
  • Video Alain Platel (concept), Natan Rosseel (camera) and Simon Van Rompay (editing)
  • Costumes Dorine Demuynck
  • Stage manager Wim Van de Cappelle
  • Photography Chris Van der Burght
  • Production directors Katrien Van Gysegem and Valerie Desmet
  • Produced by les ballets C de la B, Festival de Marseille and Berliner Festspiele
  • Coproduced by Opéra de Lille, Théâtre national de Chaillot (Paris), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Onassis Cultural Centre (Athens), TorinoDanza, Kampnagel (Hamburg), Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, L’Arsenal (Metz), Scène nationale du Sud-Aquitain (Bayonne), La Ville de Marseille-Opéra and Festival Aperto / Fondazione I Teatri (Reggio Emilia)