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Les Troyens:Royal Opera House
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Director: David McVicar
Cassandra (Cassandre): Anna Caterina Antonacci Coroebus (Chorèbe): Fabio Capitanucci Aeneas (Enée): Bryan Hymel
Captured LIVE June 2012
Single Seats $15.00
Groups of 10 or more $12.50
The Greek armies have besieged Troy for ten years, but have suddenly abandoned their camp, leaving a giant sculpted wooden horse. The Trojan people joyously emerge from the city but Cassandra, who foresees disaster and begs her betrothed, Coroebus to leave Troy. He refuses to abandon her. The rejoicing is interrupted by Hector’s mourning widow Andromache, and her son Astyanax. Then the warrior Aeneas bursts in to describe the death of Laocoon who, believing the horse to be a trap, hurled his spear at it, two monstrous serpents appeared and tore him to pieces. Aeneas interprets this is divine retribution, and King Priam order the horse to be dragged into the city. A sound like the clash of arms is heard from within it, but the crowd interprets this as a happy omen and the procession continues. Cassandra has a vision foreseeing her own death.
Aeneas is awoken by the ghost of Hector, who commands him to sail to Italy and found a new empire. The priest Panthus, Coroebus, and warriors rush in with news that the Greeks have emerged from the horse and set the city ablaze with fire. While the men resolve to fight, Trojan women pray for escape from the invaders. Cassandra has a prophecy that Aeneas will found a new Troy, and tells the women that they should commit suicide rather than submit to slavery under the Greeks. When the Greek soldiers arrive, the women collectively take their lives, and Aeneas and his men escape leaving Troy in flames.
Queen Dido has established a thriving kingdom in Carthage, and the people gather to pay homage to their Queen. Dido praises their loyalty, but warns that their peace is threatened by the Numidian king larbas. Didon’s sister Anna suggests that Didon remarry, in hopes to find a new king of Carthage. Visitors are announced from an unknown fleet and the Trojan warriors enter, with Aeneas among them. As they are talking, Narbal, High Priest, rushes in with news that larbas’ armies are marching on Carthage. Aeneas identifies himself and offers Dido his troops’ support to fight alongside the Carthaginians.
Aeneas has won the war against the Numidians. During a royal hunting, he and Dido separate from the others and acknowledge their love for each other. In the palace gardens, Narbal fears that Didon is distracted from her duties, but Anna rejoices at her
sister’s newfound love. While Aeneas describes the last days of Troy, and the marriage between Andromache to Pyrrhus, the slayer of King Priam, Dido sees a parallel to her own situation. Alone, she and Aeneas proclaim their love for one another.
At night, Hylas, a Trojan sailor dreams of his lost homeland. Panthus orders the warriors to prepare and set sail. Aeneas is confronted by the ghosts of Priam, Coroebus, Hector and Cassandra, who urge him to leave. He is anguished and torn between leaving Dido and his duty to leave Carthage. She begs Aeneas to stay but he must leave her. She curses him and orders a pyre be built on which she will burn every remembrance of their love. Alone, she decides to die.
Dido ascends the pyre that has been set up and as she stabs herself, prophesizes that a great Carthaginian hero, Hannibal, will wage war on Aeneas and avenge her. Dying, she sees another vision, of Rome, Aeneas’ destiny. The people of Carthage swear unending hatred and curse Aeneas and his descendants.
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