Missa in tempore belli
Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli is like an enormous Baroque church: the orchestra and choir form a solid structure, which the soloists then embellish with beautiful, delicate ornamentation. The piece is also known as the Paukenmesse (kettledrum mass) because of the dramatic use of timpani, a theatrical touch that is unusual for a mass.
In an unusual twist Dutch National Opera is presenting the mass in a fully staged version. Director Barbora Horáková reveals the flipside of the steadfast faith that runs through every note of Haydn’s mass, poignantly portraying individuals who suffer under the heavy burden of a narrowminded, one-sided ideology.