Thursday, August 18, 2016 - Start: 8:00 PM

Opera in two acts by Hector Berlioz (Salzburg Festival, 2007, Großes Festspielhaus – in French). A production by UNITEL CLASSICA in co-production with ZDF/3sat

Maija Kovalevska as Teresa and Kate Aldrich as Ascanio in “Benvenuto Cellini”.
Maija Kovalevska as Teresa and Kate Aldrich as Ascanio in “Benvenuto Cellini”.
“What an excessive work,” says director Philipp Stölzl, who directed the production of Hector Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini successfully in 2007: “One stands in awe of Berlioz’ monumental – in the truest sense of the meaning – opera about the renaissance rake Benvenuto Cellini, sculptor, artistic genius, knife-wielding ladies’ man. Berlioz sends his hero through a night of the Roman carnival at breakneck speed – both narratively and musically: a night which witnesses excessive partying, cloak-and-dagger abductions of young mistresses, and the creation of a golden statue amidst the ruins of the Coliseum in order to escape the Pope’s death sentence.” According to the director, the ludicrous story is reflected in the wonderful music, which is not only conceived in popular and gigantic terms, but is also so inventive, playful and complex that Berlioz’ contemporaries considered it unplayable and unsingable. Since it requires immense efforts, the fascinating work is rarely performed. The broad stage of the Großes Festspielhaus, however, is the perfect place to revive the wild sculptor!


Conductor: Valery Gergiev | Director: Philipp Stölzl | Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic | Duration: 164 Minutes Featuring: Burkhard Fritz (Cellini), Laurent Naouri (Fieramosca), Brindley Sherratt (Balducci), Mikhail Petrenko (Pope Clement VII), Maija Kovalevska (Teresa), Kate Aldrich (Ascanio), Xavier Mas (Francesco), Roberto Tagliavini (Bernardino)