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Benvenuto Cellini, by Hector Berlioz


Festival Berlioz / Côte-Saint-André / Music

Talk about adventures in metallurgy! In Wagner, Siegfried splits an anvil with his new-forged sword, and the audience goes bananas. Well, pooh. In the Berlioz opera that bears his name, the Florentine firebrand and sometime sculptor Benvenuto Cellini manages, against all odds, to cast his monumental Perseus in molten bronze. Stagings of the splashy, deliriously melodious score are all too rare, but hopes are running high for this concert version. Listen for the American tenor Michael Spyres, who revels in hard-to-cast French heroics as if to the manner born. Gala performances by the lifelong Berlioz champion John Eliot Gardiner, who conducts the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir, are slated in four festive settings, starting at Festival Berlioz, La Côte-Saint André (outside Lyon), on August 29. —M.G.

Travels to: Berliner Festspiele, Berlin (August 31); BBC Prom 59, London (September 2); and Opéra Royal, Palace of Versailles (September 8).

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Festival Berlioz 23 Rue des Remparts, 38260 La Côte-Saint-André, France
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