Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads a rare revival of Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens, based on Virgil’s Aeneid on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, June 30 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). In New York, THIRTEEN will broadcast the opera at 12:30 p.m.
Bryan Hymel stars as Aeneas, the Trojan hero whose adventures take him from the fall of Troy to the shores of the North African kingdom of Carthage. Deborah Voigt sings Cassandra, the Trojan prophetess who tries to warn her countrymen of the dangers about to befall them, and Susan Graham makes her Met role debut as Dido, the Carthaginian queen who gives her heart to Aeneas with disastrous consequences. The five-act epic will be seen in Francesca Zambello‘s critically acclaimed 2003 production, which received its first Met revival this season.
“Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham triumphed in her first Met performance as Dido…in one of the greatest works in the repertory,” noted Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times.
“This revival is carried by splendid performances by Susan Graham as Dido and Deborah Voigt as Cassandra, along with the always excellent Met chorus and orchestra under the exacting and fast-paced conducting of Fabio Luisi,” echoed Wilborn Hampton in the Huffington Post.
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts the transmission and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
Les Troyens was originally seen live in movie theaters on January 5 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.