Berlioz’s epic five-act opera Les Troyens demands such huge musical and theatrical forces that few opera houses dare to undertake it: even its 1863 Paris premiere by Léon Carvalho's company featured only the last three acts and those with extensive cuts! Savor David McVicar's phenomenal 2013 production at the Royal Opera House here, with Bryan Hymel as Aeneas, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Dido, and Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra!
The Independent on David McVicar's Les Troyens: "Musically the show is top-notch, with the chorus on coruscating form, Antonio Pappano bringing out the instrumental colour with exemplary clarity, and a line-up of soloists led by three outstanding voices. Anna Caterina Antonacci incarnates prophet-of-doom Cassandra with a clear-eyed and commanding urgency. Eva-Maria Westbroek's full-toned Dido is ideally complemented by Bryan Hymel's Aeneas in their exalted duet ‘Par une telle nuit’. And when Hymel lets rip in his long wrestle with his conscience before deserting her, the ringing purity of his tone melts the heart. Other delights include Ed Lyon's exquisitely-sung Phrygian sailor, plus a succession of brilliant coups de theatre thanks to the synergy between McVicar's pageantry and Wolfgang Goebbel's lighting, which at times creates effects worthy of Gericault. A fabulous evening."
Photo: © Bill Cooper