Susan Graham (Didon)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra / Clio)
Gregory Kunde (Énée)
Ludovic Tézier (Chorèbe)
Laurent Naouri (Narbal / Le Grand Prêtre)
Monteverdi Choir; Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Company: Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
Stage Director: Yannis Kokkos
Berlioz's grand opera Les Troyens received its premiere performance at the Théâtre Lyrique in 1863 in a heavily cut version which only featured the last three acts set in Carthage. Berlioz never saw it performed and, due to its epic scale and the forces required to perform it, Troyens was never staged complete as the composer intended. In terms of artistic ambition Les Troyens follows in the footsteps of Rossini's monumental Guillaume Tell (1829), which also was heavily cut at its premiere, and anticipates the later music dramas of Wagner. In 2003 the complete Les Troyens was triumphantly staged at Le Châtelet in Paris and Opus arte is thrilled to present this 3 DVD visual document of this lavish production. American Gregory Kunde, known for his great in the French operatic repertoire, as Aeneas and Anna Catarina Antonacci as Dido leads an international cast that also includes Susan Graham and Topi Lehtipuu. John Eliot Gardiner, one of the leading Berlioz conductors of our times, conducts. A truly unforgettable experience.
"In October 2003 John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique had a great success when they visited Paris to give Berlioz's epic opera in the relatively intimate Theatré du Châtelet but, as the video shows, the stage production by Yannis Kokkos neatly achieves clarity and directness in the complex plot with an economical but effective staging....The performance gains from the fine singing in the central role of Cassandra of Anna Caterina Antonacci, then coming to the fore as a star of the future. Ludovic Tezier is also excellent as her lover Chorebus, and the final chorus of Trojan women, led by Cassandra, brings a thrilling climax." (The Penguin Guide)
"Les Troyens hasn't fared well on DVD, but this superb authentic-instrument performance of October 2003 from the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, equals Sir Colin Davis's pioneering original. Orchestrally it's everything we've come to expect from Gardiner's Berlioz, his tempi swift and dynamic, sharing the composer's delight in complex rhythmic interplay, yet always propelling the drama. Passages like Andromache's entrance and Hector's ghost nevertheless have their proper gravitas and sombre hues against the brighter shades of Carthage. Colour is the great gift of the period instruments, revealing a wide range of sonorities, and creating a sense of freshness and discovery." (Gramophone)
"This lavish production, mounted at the Châtelet in Paris to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Berliozs birth, must have been eagerly awaited by fans of the composer. For those of us not fortunate enough to see it in the flesh, the handsome three disc DVD set from the ever reliable BBC Opus Arte makes up for the disappointment. Picture and sound quality are superb, with sensitive TV direction from Peter Maniura capturing faithfully the epic yet suitably modernist staging by veteran Yannis Kokkos, Greek-born but resident in Paris for some thirty years now." (Musicweb International)
'The Trojans - A Masterpiece Documentary by Reiner E. Moritz, including interviews with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Yannis Kokkos, Susan Graham, Gregory Kunde, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Ludovic Tézie and Renata Pokupi?.Cast Gallery and illustrated Synopsis.