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Meryl Streep to be welcomed by Radio France for Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem

Publié le 13.06.2024

Press release, Paris, 13th June 2024

Meryl Streep to be welcomed by Radio France for

Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem

Tomorrow at the Auditorium de Radio France and

broadcast live on France Musique and ARTE Concert

The iconic American screen actress, recipient of the Palme d’Or d’honneur at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is the narrator in Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem, which receives its world premiere on 14th June in Paris. The Chœur de Radio France, Maîtrise de Radio France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France are conducted by Mikko Franck.

Meryl Streep © Brigitte Lacombe

Meryl Streep, narrator in Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem

The three-time Oscar winner and nine-time Golden Globe winner will perform in Rufus Wainwright’s new work in Paris on Friday 14th June. The premiere takes place at 20:00 at the Auditorium de Radio France with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Maîtrise de Radio France and the Choeur de Radio France, conducted by the orchestra’s music director Mikko Franck. Streep will read Lord Byron’s poem ‘Darkness’, written in July 1816.

Introducing the Dream Requiem, Rufus Wainwright writes: “The music speaks of death, but I wanted it to be inspiring and full of hope at the same time. The work combines two soundworlds: The Latin Requiem text is sung by a large mixed choir, children's choir and soprano soloist while the Byron text ‘Darkness’, which describes an environmental catastrophe, is spoken by a narrator. Dream Requiem was conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic and is also about the people we have lost during that crisis, for the loss of human connection that we all experienced.

"Like probably the rest of the world, I have admired Meryl Streep ever since I saw the first movie with her. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her personally over the last few years and apart from being the most incredible actress, she is also one of the most warm-hearted human beings I know. To have her be part of the world creation of the Dream Requiem is an honour beyond anything I could have hoped for. Thank you, Meryl, for trusting me and giving your incomparable voice, heart and spirit to this piece."

Rufus Wainwright’s Dream Requiem: an ode to humanity receives its world premiere on 14th June 2024 at the Auditorium de Radio France in Paris

Dream Requiem stems from two creative and musical ideas which matured in parallel in Rufus Wainwright’s mind and which were brought together in 2020 by two events of dramatic consequence: the COVID-19 pandemic and the California wildfires.

Rufus Wainwright’s fascination for the Requiem as a form goes back to his early teenage years, when he first heard Giuseppe Verdi’s setting of the Mass for the dead. The experience transformed him as a human being and pointed the way for him as an artist. Opera became his ‘secret weapon’ as a singer-songwriter and he has composed two operas of his own: Prima Donna and Hadrian.

For Wainwright, writing a Requiem at the time of COVID was both highly stimulating and strikingly relevant: “A Requiem for the people we have lost in this crisis, for the past from which we are cut off and for the future which we do not yet know how to connect to, a Requiem for the human touch, togetherness and the human voice which all had become dangerous and contagious during the pandemic.”

Recognising the recent rise in the incidence of natural catastrophes, he combines the Latin text of the Mass with Lord Byron’s apocalyptic poem ‘Darkness’, written after the 1815 eruption of the volcano Mount Tambora, located in what is now Indonesia. The subsequent global dispersion of ash gave rise to the so-called Year Without a Summer.

FRIDAY 14th JUNE 2024 20:00

Dream Requiem
To a poem by Lord Byron and the text of the Requiem Mass

(A joint commission by Radio France / Royal Ballet London / Los Angeles Master Chorale / Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona / RTÉ Concert Orchestra / Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest – world premiere)



MIKKO FRANCK conductor

To be broadcast live on France Musique and on the France Musique website and ARTE Concert.

The concert will be recorded for release in Autumn 2024 by Warner Classics/Erato.

Rufus Wainwright is Laurent Valière’s guest on France Musique’s 42e Rue on Sunday 9th June (13:00 to 14:00). He will also appear on Jean-Baptiste Urbain’s Musique Matin on France Musique on Thursday 13th June (08:30 to 09:00).

For more information, visit maisondelaradioetdelamusique.fr

Meryl Streep - biography

For almost 45 years, Meryl Streep has continued to bring a varied and vivid array of characters to life in a career that has cut its own unique path from the theater through film and television. Educated in the New Jersey public school system through high school, Ms. Streep graduated cum laude from Vassar College and received her MFA with Honors from Yale University. She began her professional life on the New York stage, where she quickly established her signature versatility and verve as an actor. Within three years of graduation, she made her Broadway debut, won an Emmy for Holocaust and received her first Oscar nomination for The Deer Hunter.

She has since won three Academy Awards, and in 2018, in a record that is unsurpassed, she earned her 21st Academy Award nomination for her role as Katharine Graham in The Post.

She was most recently featured in season three of Hulu’s hit series Only Murders in the Building. Just before that, she starred in the first episode of the television series Extrapolations, an eight-part series exploring the human stories circling the effects of climate change in the near future on Apple TV+. She was also recently seen in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up for Netflix, Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Prom for Netflix, and Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk for HBO Max.

She also served as producer on the documentary film Sell/Buy/Date. Ms. Streep has pursued her interest in the environment through her work with Mothers and Others, a consumer advocacy group that she co-founded in 1989 under the aegis of NRDC. M&O worked for ten years to promote sustainable agriculture, establish new pesticide regulations, and ensure the availability of organic and sustainably grown local foods. Over the years since then she has supported the work of many and varied non-profit organizations in the areas of the environment /climate change, human rights and social justice, including The Climate Emergency Fund, NRDC, Women for Women International, Equality Now, The Women's History Museum, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Donor Direct Action, Partners in Health, Kageno, and the Innocence Project.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been accorded a Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government. She has been awarded an Honorary César by the French Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, and an Honorary Golden Bear by the Berlin International Film Festival. She has received the TIFF Tribute Acting Award from the Toronto International Film Festival, the Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Donostia Award from The San Sebastian Film Festival, and a Career Tribute from the Gotham Awards, all for her extensive body of work. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 2008, and the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. In 2011, Ms. Streep received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She holds honorary degrees from CCNY, Dartmouth, Harvard, Indiana University, Lafayette, Middlebury, Princeton, U of New Hampshire, Yale, and the Barnard Medal.

She and Don Gummer are the parents of a son and three daughters, and proud grandparents of five children under four years of age!

Rufus Wainwright - biography

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists, songwriters, and composers of his generation. The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer-songwriter has released ten studio albums to date, three DVDs, and three live albums including the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with artists such as Elton John, Burt Bacharach, Miley Cyrus, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Pet Shop Boys, Heart, Carly Rae Jepsen, Robbie Williams, Jessye Norman, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Sting, and producer Mark Ronson, among many others. He has written two operas, numerous songs for movies and TV, and is currently working on his first musical for the West End and a Requiem. His latest GRAMMY® and JUNO nominated album of original songs, Unfollow the Rules, finds Wainwright at the peak of his powers, entering artistic maturity with passion, honesty, and a new-found fearlessness. His newly-released studio album Folkocracy features reinvented folk duets with artists like Chaka Khan, Brandi Carlile, John Legend and Anohni and many more.

Rufus Wainwright © Tony Hauser

Pôle de relations médias / Direction de la Musique et de la Création de Radio France

François Arveiller / /

Vanessa Gomez / /

Diane de Wrangel / diane