Magazine article Opera Canada

Chicago

Magazine article Opera Canada

Chicago

Article excerpt

Les Troyens of Hector Berlioz was staged for the first time in the city's history by Lyric Opera of Chicago on Nov. 13. (The Chicago Symphony performed the music twice in past seasons, but in concert form and spread out over two evenings each time). Lyric did itself proud both in musical matters--the principals and orchestra under the baton of Andrew Davis and the chorus as prepared by Michael Black--and in the staging of Tim Albery amid the massive set of Tobias Hoheisel. The fact that the work's two parts were placed together as per the composer's intentions proved no hindrance--Verdi's Don Carlos and several works of Wagner are about as long, although, truth to tell, there were substantial cuts in Berlioz's ballet music and some choruses.

What might have been a hindrance--a major cast replacement with Susan Graham taking the role of Didon instead of the originally announced Sophie Koch--proved no problem at all. Grahams singing was as smooth and authoritative as ever in a role she has performed many times in other productions. Equally powerful was the Cassandre of Christine Goerke. But it was Brandon Jovanovich's Enee who claimed the show, beginning with his first entrance, when he galvanized a performance that had itself begun with slight tentativeness. …

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