Les Troyens marks the end of a Berlioz cycle that enabled us to hear Philippe Jordan conduct La Damnation de Faust in 2015 and then Béatrice et Bénédict and Benvenuto Cellini in 2017 and 2018. The Musical Director of the Paris Opera looks back on a voyage that took us into the world of the most revolutionary of the 19th century French composers.
The programming of Les Troyens is symbolic since it was the first opera performed on the stage of the Opera Bastille, and we are currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the theatre!
Inspired by Virgil’s The Aeneid, Les Troyens recounts the epic story of Aeneas, the Trojan prince and legendary founder of Italy. Could you tell us a little about Berlioz’s quest for an ancient ideal?
This taste for antiquity reminds us of his passion for Gluck’s music which was a staple during his youth…
What are the vocal requirements of the work’s principal roles?
The influence of Gluck is evident in Les Troyens, but there was another composer who was also important for Berlioz, if not more so, and that is Beethoven. Could you tell us a little about what he brought to the art of the French composer?
You mentioned the orchestration. Berlioz himself was the author of a treatise on instrumentation and orchestration...
Berlioz was a composer, a theorist, a critic, and also a dramatist. What can we learn from him about the relationship between text and music?
There is an emblematic figure of 19th century music who forms a link between Berlioz and Wagner. And that is Franz Liszt who helped to promote the art of the French composer and have his music played…
Your reading: Berlioz, a total genius