London’s Coliseum stages the first-ever theatrical production of Benjamin Britten’s anti-war choral masterpiece with modern flourishes
English National Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s powerful War Requiem at the Coliseum is the first full theatrical staging in the UK of the pacifist composer’s lament on war.
Britten's celebrated choral work takes nine poems by First World War poet Wilfred Owen and intersperses them with extracts from the Latin Mass for the Dead. War Requiem was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry cathedral in 1962 after the medieval original was obliterated during World War Two.
This new production marks the centenary of the First World War’s end and features a stunning set created by Turner Prize-winning German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in his first operatic commission.
Tillmans collaborated with ENO artistic director Daniel Kramer to design a set that plays with light and features large-scale images shown on three 8m-high screens. This visual poetry offers up a powerful meditation on the themes of war and loss.