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WRTI Spotlight

San Francisco Opera on WRTI: Berlioz's Epic Saga THE TROJANS, Oct. 31, 12 PM

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Hector Berlioz wrote Les Troyens (The Trojans) between 1856 and 1858.

Join us at 12 noon on Saturday (an hour earlier than usual) for Hector Berlioz's monumental and epic French grand opera THE TROJANS, with stars Susan Graham, Bryan Hymel, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Michaela Martens and Sasha Cooke, conducted by Donald Runnicles.

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Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

French composer Hector Berlioz, one of the leading innovators of 19th-century French grand opera and symphonic music, set his five-act opera to Virgil’s classical poem The Aeneid in two parts: “The Capture of Troy,” the Greek siege of ancient Troy including the famed Trojan Horse, and “The Trojans at Carthage,” the escape of the Trojans to the North African Mediterranean city of Carthage.

San Francisco Opera’s presentation of this epic French opera features an international roster of the world’s leading singers, headlined by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and tenor Bryan Hymel as the ill-fated lovers Dido and Aeneas. The dramatic role of the prophetess Cassandra is shared by Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci—who also stars in the Company’s world premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (La Ciociara) this summer—and American mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens.

San Francisco Opera has a distinguished history with The Trojans, having staged an abridged version of the opera in 1966 billed as the “American professional stage premiere,” following an earlier stage presentation of the work by the New England Opera Theater in 1955. The Company premiere featured Régine Crespin as both Cassandra and Dido, and Jon Vickers as Aeneas. San Francisco Opera previously presented The Trojans in 1966 (San Francisco), 1968 (San Francisco and Berkeley) and 1969 (Los Angeles tour).

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Saturday, October 31, 12 noon to 5:45 pm on WRTI. (Please note early start time!)

Synopsis

THE TROJANS (in French)
COMPOSER: Hector Berlioz
LIBRETTO:Hector Berlioz

CAST:

Cassandra - Anna Caterina Antonacci
Dido - Susan Graham
Aeneas - Bryan Hymel
Anna - Sasha Cooke
Chorebus - Brian Mulligan
Narbal - Christian Van Horn
Iopas - René Barbera

ENSEMBLE: San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus
CONDUCTOR: David Runnicles
CHORUS DIRECTOR: Ian Robertson