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The tragic fall of Troy, the passionate love of two great leaders, the urgent pull of destiny: all unfold as part of Berlioz’s visionary masterpiece—French grand opera's answer to Wagner's Ring.
Former Music Director Donald Runnicles, who masterfully conducted the Ring cycle in 2011, returns to lead this intensely lyrical, colorfully orchestrated, viscerally exciting score. David McVicar’s visually striking new production, “a major event” (The Guardian, London), moves the action to the mid-19th century. The world-class cast stars, as the ill-fated lovers Dido and Aeneas, the “vocally sumptuous and alluring” Susan Graham and Bryan Hymel, who gives “an impassioned and confident performance of a heroic role” (The New York Times). The “musically intelligent and vocally splendid” Anna Caterina Antonacci (The New York Times) alternates with Michaela Martens to take on the dramatic role of the prophetess Cassandra.
Music and Libretto by Hector Berlioz
Sung in French with English supertitles
June 7, 12, 16, 20, 25 July 1
1 June 7, 16, 25, July 1 2 June 12, 20 * San Francisco Opera Debut
Co-production with Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Milan's Teatro alla Scala and the Vienna State Opera.
Previous performances of The Trojans can be found in our Archive.
After ten years of siege, the Greeks have departed from Troy, leaving behind a giant wooden horse as an offering to Pallas Athena.
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The Trojans (Les Troyens) fulfilled the dream of a four-year-old boy, Hector Berlioz. When his father read his precocious son Virgil’s Aeneid, the boy was so moved at Dido’s death that “I was seized with nervous shuddering and ran off to give myself up to Virgilian grief.”
“For the last three years I have been tormented by the idea of a vast opera,” wrote Hector Berlioz at the end of the first edition of his Memoirs, in 1854. This oblique reference to the still-to-be-written The Trojans suggests that the composer, then just 50 years old, intuited the difficulties awaiting him. “I am resisting the temptation, and trust I shall continue to resist it to the end.”
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