Amiens, A Dive into the Fury of War:
A thousand spectators attended the Diggers’ Requiem on Monday at the Cirque Jules-Verne.
By Estelle Thiebault | Posted on 24/04/2018
Courrier Picard, Amiens
It is possible to "repair the past in the present. All countries make mistakes, "said Christopher Latham, the Australian director, just before the Diggers Requiem encores was given to the thousand people present, on Monday April 23, at the Circus Jules Verne for the Anzac Day, 2018.
A free concert that brought together 200 musicians from the Orchestre de Picardie, the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, the Choeur Regional Hauts-de-France and six soloists, was attended by Geneviève Darrieusecq, Secretary of State for Ministry of the Armed Forces, as well as Darren Chester, the Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, and the German Ambassador to France.
The twelve movements of this requiem, one for each Australian battle which were evoked by images projected on the big screen, transported the spectators to the fury of the war. For the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916, during which more than 5,500 Australians were wounded and 2,000 killed, Haëndel's funeral March resounded. This work was traditionally played at the funeral of Commonwealth soldiers. Lighter in tone, Alex Lithgow's Victoria March was played to cheer up the troops as they entered the ruins of Bapaume in March of 1917. And it was the galloping that Richard Mills' Charge of Beershada recalled in his work about the victorious charge of Australian cavalry on October 31, 1917 in Palestine. A trumpet solo echoed the battle of Villers-Bretonneux on April 25, 1918. For the announcing of the Armistice, the last movement began with a very moving lament played at first offstage by the bagpipe player. Then the Lux Aeterna by Australian composer Ross Edwards, for the 62,000 Australians who died during the Great War. To end with, the last words spoken by Joan of Arc, Pie Jesu, was sung in chorus by all the spectators who gave a long standing ovation to the musicians.