Les Troyens at Teatro Alla Scala

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PRESENTS

troyens-5-1400x574Les Troyens

Hector Berlioz

Grand-Opéra in five acts
Libretto by Hector Berlioz

New Production
In coproduction with Royal Opera House, London;
San Francisco Opera and Wiener Staatsoper

From 8 to 30 April 2014

Running Time: 5 hours 20 minutes intermissions included

Sung in French with electronic libretto in Italian, English, French

Notes on the performances
The grandiose idea of giving a musical form to the Aeneid led to Berlioz creating a powerful tragedy, which is unique in recreating with classical precision the shadows of the past as imagined by Virgil’s poem. It is the finest posthumous masterpiece in the history of opera: the French musician died without ever seeing it on stage. He had conceived, at the same time as Wagner conceived his “tetralogy”, a grand-opéra with a cast of twenty formed by two operas: a “dilogy” set in two different locations – La prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Cartage – in each of which we witness the destiny of two women who are defeated by their fate, the unheeded prophetess Cassandre and the abandoned queen Didon. For these two archetypal heroines it would have been impossible to find finer performers than Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona. Alongside them will be young talent like Paolo Fanale, Maria Radner, Alexandre Duhamel, Fabio Capitanucci. The role of Aenea is played by virtuoso Gregory Kunde. The monumental drama will feature the opera debut on the La Scala podium of Antonio Pappano, who is seen as one of the finest contemporary performers. This foreboding and bellicose work of classical antiquity is brought to life and given a form – from the wooden horse, to royal hunts– by specialist Scottish director David McVicar, whose career spans more than thirty operas. The grandiose idea of giving a musical form to the Aeneid led to Berlioz creating a powerful tragedy, which is unique in recreating with classical precision the shadows of the past as imagined by Virgil’s poem. It is the finest posthumous masterpiece in the history of opera: the French musician died without ever seeing it on stage. He had conceived, at the same time as Wagner conceived his “tetralogy”, a grand-opéra with a cast of twenty formed by two operas: a “dilogy” set in two different locations – La prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Cartage – in each of which we witness the destiny of two women who are defeated by their fate, the unheeded prophetess Cassandre and the abandoned queen Didon. For these two archetypal heroines it would have been impossible to find finer performers than Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona. Alongside them will be young talent like Paolo Fanale, Maria Radner, Alexandre Duhamel, Fabio Capitanucci. The role of Aenea is played by virtuoso Gregory Kunde. The monumental drama will feature the opera debut on the La Scala podium of Antonio Pappano, who is seen as one of the finest contemporary performers. This foreboding and bellicose work of classical antiquity is brought to life and given a form – from the wooden horse, to royal hunts– by specialist Scottish director David McVicar, whose career spans more than thirty operas. The grandiose idea of giving a musical form to the Aeneid led to Berlioz creating a powerful tragedy, which is unique in recreating with classical precision the shadows of the past as imagined by Virgil’s poem. It is the finest posthumous masterpiece in the history of opera: the French musician died without ever seeing it on stage. He had conceived, at the same time as Wagner conceived his “tetralogy”, a grand-opéra with a cast of twenty formed by two operas: a “dilogy” set in two different locations – La prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Cartage – in each of which we witness the destiny of two women who are defeated by their fate, the unheeded prophetess Cassandre and the abandoned queen Didon. For these two archetypal heroines it would have been impossible to find finer performers than Anna Caterina Antonacci and Daniela Barcellona. Alongside them will be young talent like Paolo Fanale, Maria Radner, Alexandre Duhamel, Fabio Capitanucci. The role of Aenea is played by virtuoso Gregory Kunde. The monumental drama will feature the opera debut on the La Scala podium of Antonio Pappano, who is seen as one of the finest contemporary performers. This foreboding and bellicose work of classical antiquity is brought to life and given a form – from the wooden horse, to royal hunts– by specialist Scottish director David McVicar, whose career spans more than thirty operas.

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Direction

Conductor
Antonio Pappano
Staging
David McVicar
Sets
Es Devlin
Costumes
Moritz Junge
Lights
Wolfgang Göbbel
Choreography
Lynne Page

CAST

Enée
Gregory Kunde
Chorèbe
Fabio Capitanucci
Panthée
Alexandre Duhamel
Narbal
Giacomo Prestia
Iopas
Shalva Mukeria
Ascagne
Paola Gardina
Cassandre
Anna Caterina Antonacci
Didon
Daniela Barcellona
Anna
Maria Radner
Hylas
Paolo Fanale
Priam
Mario Luperi
Un chef Grec
Ernesto Panariello
L’ombre d’Hector
Deyan Vatchkov
Hèlénus
Oreste Cosimo
1er soldat Troyen
Guillermo Esteban Bussolini
2eme soldat Troyen
Alberto Rota
Un soldat
Luciano Andreoli
Le Dieu Mercure
Emidio Guidotti
Hécuba
Elena Zilio

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Synopsis

The Sack of Troy
Act I
The Greeks have raised their siege of Troy,

and the Trojans, after so many years of war,
at last come out of their walls in exultance.
Believing it to be an offering to Pallas, they
decide to bring into the city the great wooden
horse which the Greeks have abandoned.
All the people think they are safe, and pay no
heed to the prophecies of Cassandra, who instead
sees the departure of the Greeks only
as a trick which will bring about the ruin and

death of all the Trojans.

Fate will have it that Troy shall perish.While
the population celebrates their regained freedom
with games in honour of the gods,
strange events occur. Aeneas reports that
Laocoön struck the wooden horse with a
spear and was immediately devoured by two
hideous snakes. Fearing sacrilege, Priam orders
that the horse be drawn at once into the
city. In vain Cassandra insists on her prophecies
and tries to convince the blinded crowd
of the ruin that awaits them.
Act II
Shortly afterwards, during the night, the

ghost of Hector appears before Aeneas and
announces that Troy is about to be taken by
the Greeks. His destiny is to go to Italy to
found a new city and to die there in glory.As
the Greeks take possession of the city’s walls
and palaces, spreading fire and death,Aeneas
fights the last battle and opens a breach for
himself with his trusty companions, taking
with him Priam’s treasure. Cassandra and the
Trojan women kill themselves rather than fall
into the hands of the conquerors.
The Trojans at Carthage
Act III
The scene is in Carthage, the new city ruled

by Dido. The people are celebrating their
newfound prosperity and wealth. The queen,
during a ceremony, receives the homage of
her hardworking people. The arrival of
foreigners from the sea is announced and Dido
welcomes them cordially. They are the
Trojans, led by Aeneas, whose presence upsets
the queen. At that very moment news
comes that Iarbas, king of the Numidians, is
making ready to conquer Carthage by force.
Aeneas offers to fight beside the Carthaginians
against the barbarian king.
Act IV
Aeneas has won the war against the Numidians

and he and his men have lingered in the
pleasant land of Carthage. In a forest close to
the cit y walls, the royal couple have gone
hunting. The spirits and creatures of the forest
are disturbed by the intrusion of the hunting
party as they ride through the trees. A
storm gathers and violently breaks. Dido and
Aeneas are separated from the others and
take shelter from the storm. Finally, they acknowledge
their love and their union is consummated.
The passion of the lovers is reflected
in the wildness of the storm. The spirits
dance in ecstasy, but the cries that resound
through the forest are of Aeneas’ inevitable
destiny: ‘Italy!’.
The hero and the queen have fallen in love
and their love is looked upon kindly by Dido’s
sister, Anna, but worries the faithful
Narbal. Great festivities. Hunting and dancing
are organized. Aeneas, forgetting the orders
of the gods who wish his destiny to be
fulfilled in Italy, abandons himself to passion.
Dido forgets her faithfulness to her dead husband.
But Mercury intervenes with a warning
cry: Italy!
Act V
Aeneas cannot escape his fate. He is persecuted

by apparitions of the dead and must
make up his mind to depart. Despite his love
for Dido, he must give orders for the fleet to
sail. The separation between the two lovers is
at once dramatic and tender. Dido returns in
despair to her chambers, torn between hate
and love. She asks her sister to implore
Aeneas to stay, but is informed that the Trojan
fleet has already set sail. The queen has a
sacrifice prepared for the gods of Hades, and
on the pyre she kills herself with a sword. She
has a vision of future revenge on Rome by
the hand of Hannibal, but then the prophecy
turns into the total triumph of Rome. The
Carthaginians curse the Romans’ future,
while the complete triumph of the Roman
Empire is announced. The will of the gods is
carried out and Dido’s sacrifice remains fruitless.
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