The penultimate festival concert of the twenty-sixth year of the International Music Festival Český Krumlov on 4th August was dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi. During the evening, set in the environment of the Brewery Garden, the audience heard his Messa da Requiem, which returned to the festival program after eleven years. The Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra from Zlín, conducted by Stanislav Vavřínek, the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno under the leadership of choirmaster Petr Fiala and soloists Eva Hornyáková, Terézia Kružliaková, Jaroslav Březina and Peter Mikuláš performed. “If you get the opportunity to conduct Verdi’s Requiem in your life, whether it is the first time or whether you have done so several times, on the one hand it represents great expectations and anticipation, and on the other hand enormous respect. It is one of the biggest vocal-instrumental pieces which have ever been written. We played at the Brewery Garden, which might not seem to be the appropriate place for performing this composition. It was written primarily for a cathedral but it is also regularly played at concert halls or in open-air productions. Verdi’s Requiem is great Romanticism. In it Verdi is broadly orchestral, generously instrumental, it contains big solo performances, enormous orchestral and choir areas, figuratively said, it stretches as a wide arch of a big cathedral,” said conductor Stanislav Vavřínek. Mezzosoprano Terézia Kružlianková summarized her feelings with these words, “After Verdi’s Requiem I always have uplifting feelings. It is such a sacred composition. For us, opera singers, his Requiem is like a gateway to music. Whenever I have the opportunity to sing his Requiem, I am grateful for it. As opposed, for example, to Mozart’s Requiem, it is not performed that often, so it is a feast. Today I performed at the Český Krumlov festival for the first time and it was a special experience as we sang in the open air. The open-air atmosphere gave completely different dimensions to today’s performance to the ones which I experienced during more common productions at a concert hall. Music is perceived in a different way in nature. I am taking away a great experience.” One of the most spectacular adaptations of the liturgic text of the mass for the dead was performed on the warm Friday night with the beautiful panorama of Český Krumlov in the background.