Poll

Your Favorite Berlioz Opera is...

Benvenuto Cellini
1 (14.3%)
Les Troyens
5 (71.4%)
Béatrice et Bénédict
1 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera  (Read 382 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Alberich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1855
  • Huge fan of 19th and 20th century art.
  • Location: Finland
Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« on: December 14, 2017, 11:16:38 AM »
La damnation de Faust is not an opera so that is out of this poll. And Les francs-juges was mostly destroyed and was never actually finished so that is out of this poll as well.

My vote goes for Benvenuto Cellini, one of my favorite French operas of all time. I really really would like to see it live.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50724
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 11:28:34 AM »
I've got to vote for Les Troyens.  Saw it at the Met, heard a concert performance here in Boston's Symphony Hall.  Love it.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline some guy

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1983
  • Location: Somewhere else
  • Currently Listening to:
    Music
Re: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 09:00:13 AM »
They're quite different, so I'm going to keep all three of them.

With one, tiny bit of cheating: I would rather listen to Benvenuto Cellini than any other opera of the 19th century.

But I'm still keeping all three. I'm selfish that way.

I've been to performances of all of them. Unfortunately, the staged version I saw in Prague of Béatrice et Bénédict was so terrible, I had to leave at the break. Truly. (At least the musical side of things was tepid enough so that I didn't feel like I was missing anything. And Mackerras doing The Excursions of Mr. Brouček the next day took some of the sting out.

I saw Terry Gilliam's staging of Benvenuto Cellini in Barcelona. That was pretty cool.

And I saw Gardner's performance of Les Troyens in Paris, which was remarkably fine, even considering the obligatory WWII costumes (and weapons) when the Trojans beachcomb after the Greeks "left." Of course, it was my first time back to Europe after twenty-one years, for the bicentennial of Berlioz' birth, and the performance was in the delightful Châtelet, and Anna Antonacci and Susan Graham were spectacular, so I was forgiving of the staging glitch. And it was only that one scene that was gagsome.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 50724
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 10:14:15 AM »
They're quite different, so I'm going to keep all three of them.

No reason not to!

Quote
I saw Terry Gilliam's staging of Benvenuto Cellini in Barcelona. That was pretty cool.

Dang cool!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 754
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 03:59:08 AM »
I have seen them all once - almost.

I saw Benvenuto Cellini at the Royal Opera House many years ago; the cast was similar to the Davis/Philips recording but it was conducted by Sir John Pritchard, very enjoyable.

I was looking forward to seeing The Trojans live - a big ambition but it was scuppered by a strike by the ROH chorus. This meant that I only got The Trojans at Carthage and for some unfathomable reason sung in English. Josephine Veasey was a superb Dido and almost redeemed the disappointment. I have a DVD of the Gardiner/Chatelet production mentioned above: the horse is feeble and I wish he hadn't tampered with ending because it is an otherwise fine performance. Pappano's ROH version on DVD is better and Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra is even more searingly intense than she is for Gardiner.

I saw a decent production of Beatrice and Benedict at ENO, again many years ago.

Despite not really being an opera The Damnation of Faust gets staged quite often. ENO have done it three times to my knowledge. I saw the production they put on for the Berlioz centenary but about fifteen years later. It was well sung but the production was a bit feeble. Later they had a hideous travesty of a production by someone whose name I have mercifully forgotten but he is the same wretch who did a ludicrous Coronation of Poppaea for Welsh National Opera.  I saw the Faust on TV but unfortunately forked out good money for the Poppaea. Terry Gilliam did an imaginative staging for ENO; I only saw part of it on BBC iPlayer - some day I hope to see all of it.

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17051
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
Re: Your Favorite Berlioz Opera
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 04:58:56 AM »
Les Troyens, but I'm ashamed to say I'm not familiar with Benvenuto Cellini. Must try to fix that next year.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr