Genre:

Opera

Release Date:

Oct 2013

Subtitles:

EN/FR/DE/ES/JP/KR

Number of discs :

2

Sound Format:

2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Catalog Number:

OABD7113D

Berlioz: Les Toryens (The Royal Opera)

Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra); Eva-Maria Westbroek (Dido); Bryan Hymel (Aeneas); Fabio Capitanucci (Coroebus); Robert Lloyd (Priam); Narbal (Brindley Sherratt); Ashley Holland (Panthus); Daniel Grice (Soldier);

Les Troyens is a tour de force that ranges from fiery military marches to intense choruses, passionate soliloquies and the lyrical love duets of Dido and Aeneas. For Hector Berlioz, librettist and composer, the opera became the work of decades and the passion of a lifetime, the culmination of his literary love affair with Virgil's Aeneid and with two tragic heroines, Cassandra and Dido. David McVicar's staging is on an enormous scale, assembling one of the largest casts ever seen at Covent Garden. The sweeping theme of the rise and fall of empires runs throughout Les Troyens, along with moving meditations on love and honour.

Reviews

"David McVicar's stupendous production at the Royal Opera House would be worth seeing for Es Devlin's mighty sets and Constructivist Trojan horse alone. But Antonio Pappano's orchestra plays the ravishing score with such élan, and the singing and acting are so fine, especially Cassandra (Anna Caterina Antonacci), Dido (Eva-Maria Westbroek) and Aeneas (Bryan Hymel), that you can forgive the long, angular ballets that are like misbegotten descendants of Isadora Duncan and the Ballets Russes." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Pappano drew a big-gestured, brightly colored and rhapsodic performance from the Royal Opera’s impressive orchestra and chorus. The Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci triumphed as Cassandra (Cassandre).Her singing was lush, fervent, finely spun and noble. A lovely woman, she is a riveting actress, who achingly conveyed that Cassandra feels cursed by her prophetic powers. The Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek was a splendid Dido (Didon)." (The New York Times)

"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." (The Independent)

"Sir Antonio Pappano has the measure of this huge score, giving it with exhilaration and breathing space." (www.classicalsource.com)

"Sometimes it all works together extremely well, giving a result as moving as any artistic event can be. That was the case at Covent Garden in 2012 when Pappano and McVicar triumphed in Berlioz's greatest masterpiece Les Troyens. Apart from Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth during the 1980s and 1990s I have heard nothing more impressive in the opera house. These superbly recorded discs brought it all back with the added benefit of judiciously chosen close-ups and easily read surtitles plus Pappano's valuable insight lecture and act-by-act spoken introductions. Everyone in the cast list above is superb but especial mention must be made of Aeneas, Bryan Hymel; Dido, Eva-Maria Westbroek; Cassandra, Anna Caterina Antonacci and Anna , Hanna Hipp; simply because the scale of their roles is so large. Top class. - Recording of the Month - " (Musicweb International)