Performance | First Performance of Les Troyens | Early Romantic | Opera
Les troyens was such a monumental proposition that even Berlioz was daunted by it. An entry for 1854 in his memoirs read: ‘For the last three years I have been tormented by the idea of a vast opera for which I would write both the words and the music … I am resisting the temptation of carrying out this project, and I hope I will resist to the end (Footnote: Alas, no, I have not been able to resist) … The subject seems to me elevated, magnificent and deeply moving – sure proof that the Parisians will find it dull and boring.’ Les troyens certainly made too many demands on performers and audience for a continuous performance, which is why it was divided into two parts. The first was entitled La prise de Troie (‘The Capture of Troy’). The second, Les Troyens à Carthage (‘The Trojans in Carthage’) premiered at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on 4 November 1863. La prise de Troie, however, had to wait almost 30 years for its first performance, until 1890, when it was reunited with Les troyens à Carthage and both were played together at Karlsruhe in Germany on 6 December 1890.
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