Berlioz : Les Troyens

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An opera of unparalleled epic scale, Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens sets the Royal Opera House ablaze under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano and carried by an extraordinary cast: Anna Caterina Antonacci, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Bryan Hymel

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Berlioz : Les Troyens

An opera of unparalleled epic scale, Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens sets the Royal Opera House ablaze under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano and carried by an extraordinary cast: Anna Caterina Antonacci, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Bryan Hymel…

Les Troyens is opera at its most epic. The sheer scale of its story, music, passion, staging and performers make this one of the great Royal Opera events of the 2010s. Berlioz’s great work is one of the most fabulously rich of all operas, a tour de force of passion in music, with extraordinarily demanding roles for the principal cast.

The story is taken from Virgil’s great poem The Aeneid, and dramatizes the fall of Troy and Enée’s (Aeneas’) doomed affair with Didon (Dido), Queen of Carthage. It brings alive a wealth of human emotions set against the monumental canvas of the rise and fall of empires. This new production by celebrated director David McVicar is on an impressive scale. The extraordinary world-class cast includes Bryan Hymel as the heroic Enée, Eva-Marie Westbroek as his beloved Didon and Anna Caterina Antonacci as the doomed prophetess Cassandre, under the baton of Antonio Pappano. Designs are by Es Devlin (designer for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics) and Moritz Junge.


  • Introduction by Antonio Pappano
  • Designer Es Devlin explains the model box

Berlioz : Les Troyens [DVD & Blu-ray]

Opera in five acts 

Music and libretto : Hector Berlioz
after Virgil’s Aeneid

Énée : Bryan Hymel
Didon : Eva-Maria Westbroek
Cassandre : Anna Caterina Antonacci
Chorèbe : Fabio Capitanucci
Priam : Robert Lloyd
Panthée : Ashley Holland
Ascagne : Barbara Senatol
Narbal : Brindley Sherratt

Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House

Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano

Stage director: David McVicar

Assistant stage director: Leah Hausman
Set design: Es Devlin
Costumes: Moritz Junge
Lighting design: Wolfgang Göbbel
Choreography and movement: Andrew George

Press review

“David McVicar’s stupendous production at the Royal Opera House would be worth seeing for Es Devlin’s mighty sets and Constructivist Trojan horse alone. But Antonio Pappano’s orchestra plays the ravishing score with such élan, and the singing and acting are so fine, especially Cassandra (Anna Caterina Antonacci), Dido (Eva-Maria Westbroek) and Aeneas (Bryan Hymel), that you can forgive the long, angular ballets that are like misbegotten descendants of Isadora Duncan and the Ballets Russes.” – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Pappano drew a big-gestured, brightly colored and rhapsodic performance from the Royal Opera’s impressive orchestra and chorus. The Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci triumphed as Cassandra (Cassandre).Her singing was lush, fervent, finely spun and noble. A lovely woman, she is a riveting actress, who achingly conveyed that Cassandra feels cursed by her prophetic powers. The Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek was a splendid Dido (Didon).” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Musically the show is top-notch, with the chorus on coruscating form, Antonio Pappano bringing out the instrumental colour with exemplary clarity, and a line-up of soloists led by three outstanding voices. Anna Caterina Antonacci incarnates prophet-of-doom Cassandra with a clear-eyed and commanding urgency. Eva-Maria Westbroek’s full-toned Dido is ideally complemented by Bryan Hymel’s Aeneas in their exalted duet ‘Par une telle nuit’. And when Hymel lets rip in his long wrestle with his conscience before deserting her, the ringing purity of his tone melts the heart. Other delights include Ed Lyon’s exquisitely-sung Phrygian sailor, plus a succession of brilliant coups de theatre thanks to the synergy between McVicar’s pageantry and Wolfgang Goebbel’s lighting, which at times creates effects worthy of Gericault. A fabulous evening.” – THE INDEPENDANT

“Sir Antonio Pappano has the measure of this huge score, giving it with exhilaration and breathing space.”- CLASSICAL SOURCE

“Sometimes it all works together extremely well, giving a result as moving as any artistic event can be. That was the case at Covent Garden in 2012 when Pappano and McVicar triumphed in Berlioz’s greatest masterpiece Les Troyens. Apart from Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth during the 1980s and 1990s I have heard nothing more impressive in the opera house. These superbly recorded discs brought it all back with the added benefit of judiciously chosen close-ups and easily read surtitles plus Pappano’s valuable insight lecture and act-by-act spoken introductions.
Everyone in the cast list above is superb but especial mention must be made of Aeneas, Bryan Hymel; Dido, Eva-Maria Westbroek; Cassandra, Anna Caterina Antonacci and Anna, Hanna Hipp; simply because the scale of their roles is so large. Top class. – Recording of the Month” – MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Technical informations

HD recording: Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) | 06/2012
TV direction: François Roussillon
Release date: 1st October 2013
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

: OA1097D
Barcode : 809478010975
Running time : 254 min (opera) + 30 min (bonus)
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA / JAP / KOR
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS Digital Surround 5.1
Region code : 0

Reference : OABD7113D
Barcode : 809478071136
Running time : 254 min. (opéra) + 30 min. (ballet)
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA / JAP / KOR
Image : Color, 16/9, Full HD
Sound : PCM 2.0, DTS HD Master audio 5.1
Region code : A, B, C

About Opus Arte

Founded as a production company by Hans Petri in 1999, Opus Arte released its first DVD in 2001. From the outset, the label has been releasing recordings from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, one of the closest and longest-standing relationships they have had. So much so that in 2007 the ROH acquired Opus Arte, which in turn became their in-house DVD label. In 2018 the label joined the Naxos family, although its continues to work very closely with the ROH and maintains its base of operations at the Royal Opera House in London.

Opus Arte now boasts a catalogue of over 800 programmes, including recordings in 4K, 3-D and Dolby ATMOS, and was one of the first labels to release high definition content on Blu-ray. They proudly associate with many of the world’s finest arts organisations, which aside from the Royal Opera House includes Glyndebourne, Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Teatro Real, Bayreuth, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

As of 2024, Naxos, Opus Arte and Bel Air Classiques have agreed to pull their resources together to further highlight their shared values of artistic excellence, innovation and transmission.