Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the head of Medusa (detail), 1553

Benvenuto Cellini, “Perseus with the head of Medusa” (detail), 1553

© Wikimedia Commons

Visiting Orchestras / London I

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Opening Concert
Hector Berlioz Year 2019

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, founded by the conductor, and the Monteverdi Choir will present a semi-staged performance of “Benvenuto Cellini”, Hector Berlioz’ first opera, at the start of the 2019 Musikfest Berlin on 31 August at the Berlin Philharmonie.

  • 3 hours
  • In French with German surititles

Berlioz died in Paris on 8 March 1869. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, a renowned Berlioz-expert, chose this special work, which underwent a difficult history of adaptation and production, to bring it back to the stage in a version of his own. Berlioz’ first stage work is significant for his reception, both because of its composition and its dramaturgy, since the scenes from the life of sculptor Benvenuto Cellini may well be regarded as a biographical mirror of the composer’s own life. “Benvenuto Cellini” (1834 – 1837) was premiered on 10  September 1838 in Paris, the first performance in Berlin took place in 1896 at Königliche Hofoper Unter den Linden, today’s Staatsoper, and the work has only rarely been featured in operatic repertoires since then. Thus, the performance of “Benvenuto Cellini” at the 2019 Musikfest Berlin promises to be a premiere for the 21st century audience.

Concert Programme

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)
Benvenuto Cellini
Opéra Comique op. 23 (1834 – 1838)
Libretto by Léon Wally and Henri-August Barbier based on the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini translated by Denis Dominique Farjasse

Semi-staged performance
Adapted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner


Michael Spyres tenor (Benvenuto Cellini)
Sophia Burgos soprano (Teresa)
Matthew Rose bass (Giacomo Balducci)
Adèle Charvet mezzo soprano (Ascanio)
Tareq Nazmi bass (Pope Clemens VII)
Krystian Adam tenor (Francesco)
Lionel Lhote baritone (Fieramosca)
Ashley Riches bass baritone (Bernardino)

Fabian Aloise movement director

Monteverdi Choir
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor

Only performance in Germany as part of the European tour 2019 (La Côte-Saint-André, Berlin, London, Paris).

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event,
funded by means of the Capital Cultural Funds

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