Opera Scotland

Trojans 2001Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Troyens

To open the Edinburgh Festival with a concert performance of Berlioz's epic Les Troyens was, it would seem, an excellent idea. However, as with most performances of the last Scottish Opera staging, the opera was split, with The Fall of Troy on the opening night, and The Trojans at Carthage following later. Even worse, the gap between the two sections was almost a week, starting on Sunday August 12 (at 20.00), and concluding on Saturday August 18 (at 19.00). There were both technical and financial reasons for the gap, most of all the simple fact that the Orchestra was learning the music from scratch - though the quality of performance disguised that fact. But a fall in tension between the two parts seemed unavoidable..

What was not in doubt was the quality of the individual performances, dominated by the incandescent portrayals by Petra Lang and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Donald Runnicles was still relatively unfamiliar in his home country and not known to the orchestra - this event could hardly have been more ambitious. They and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus had a glorious time.

This Festival had a wonderful range of operas in concert performances that year - Les Troyens was followed by Idomeneo, Cosï fan tutte, Armida (Rossini), Zoroastre (Rameau), Three Sisters (Eötvös), and Messiaen's St Francis of Assisi - truly astonishing.

Performance Cast

Cassandra a prophetess (Cassandre)

Petra Lang

Ascanius son of Aeneas (Ascagne)

Isabel Cals

Aeneas a Trojan commander, son of Venus and Anchises (Énée)

Hugh Smith

Choroebus a young Asian, fiancé of Cassandra (Chorèbe)

Christopher Maltman

Pantheus a Trojan priest and friend of Aeneas (Panthée)

Paul Whelan

Ghost of Hector Priam's eldest son

John Relyea

Dido Queen of Carthage, widow of Sichaeus, Prince of Tyre (Didon)

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Anna Dido's sister

Catherine Wyn-Rogers

Narbal adviser to Dido

John Relyea

Iopas a Tyrien minstrel at Dido's court

Paul Agnew

Hylas a young Phrygian sailor

John Mark Ainsley

Performance DatesTrojans 2001

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

12 Aug, 20.00

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