Severo da Ravenna, The Death of Cleopatra, bronze, 16th century

Severo da Ravenna, “The Death of Cleopatra”, bronze, 16th century

© Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo: Wikimedia Commons

Concert
Berlin-based Orchestras

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin

Donald Runnicles, conductor
On the Stage of the Philharmonie

Berlioz’ opera “Les Troyens” was the first new production for Donald Runnicles after he had become General Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2010 – and it was a great musical success. For Musikfest Berlin, he has created a concertante excerpt from both parts of the five-act work.

19:15 introduction

It was tantamount to a pioneering achievement. Only a very few ventured to present a performance of “Les Troyens”, the final opera completed by Hector Berlioz. During his lifetime, it was never performed in its entirety. The first complete performance took place in Karlsruhe in 1890. This musical tragedy unites sufficient matter for two stage works: It deals with the destruction of Troy and the flight of the few survivors as well as with the refugees’ abode in Carthage and the love story between Dido and Aeneas. In Karlsruhe, the five-and-a-half-hour-long work was presented on two consecutive evenings. After taking office as General Music Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Donald Runnicles took a risk and chose “Les Troyens” for his first new production in 2010 – with great musical success. For Musikfest Berlin, he has arranged a concertante excerpt from both parts of this five-act work. He has reduced the sung parts to those that were interpreted by a single artist, Pauline Mailhac, in Karlsruhe: the roles of the two queens, Trojan Hecuba and Carthage’s Dido.

Concert Programme

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Overture of Coriolan op. 62 in C minor (1807)

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)
La Mort de Cléopâtre
Lyric scene for soprano and orchestra (1829)

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)
Excerpts from the opera Les Troyens (1858)

Cast

Alice Coote soprano (La Mort de Cléopatre)
Susan Graham mezzo soprano (Les Troyens)
Klaus Florian Vogt tenor

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Donald Runnicles conductor

A Deutsche Oper Berlin event in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin