Unseen in London for many years, and never previously at ENO, Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini is forged anew at the London Coliseum by director Terry Gilliam and ENO Music Director Edward Gardner – the identical pairing responsible for the company’s award-winning The Damnation of Faust in 2011. That production unleashed Gilliam’s inexhaustible imagination as a story-teller of the first order, and Benvenuto Cellini offers this theatrical showman an equally rich canvas simply begging for his special flair.
With its stunning visual and musical set pieces such as the Mardi Gras carnival, Berlioz’s first completed opera is based on the autobiography of celebrated 16th-century goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. Two entwined plots – Cellini's love for Teresa and his triumphant fulfilment of a commission to cast a bronze statue of Perseus – provide the framework for some of Berlioz's most vibrant, swashbuckling and tender music, against a plot of thwarted love, elopment, intrigue, disguise, mistaken identity, secular merry-making and sacred ceremony.
A stellar cast has been assembled for this significant new production, led by rising tenor Michael Spyres in the title role, with the stunning soprano Corinne Winters (last season’s acclaimed Violetta) as Cellini’s lover, Teresa. ENO favourite Willard White returns to the company to add Pope Clement VII to his already extensive list of roles.
A co-production with De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam
New production supported by the Peter Moores Foundation’s Swansong Project 2013–2015, American Friends of ENO and a syndicate of individual donors
Sung and surtitled in English | Running time: 3hrs 10mins (including 1 interval)
Pre Performance Talk: Sat 7 Jun with Philippa Glanville historian and specialist in decorative arts, plus Leah Hausman Assistant Director/Choreographer.
For performances of Benvenuto Cellini on 14 and 17 June, please note that there will be cameras filming in the auditorium as part of ENO Screen.
Benvenuto Cellini cast and creative team
Conductor Edward Gardner
Director Terry Gilliam
Co-director and Movement Director Leah Hausman
Original Design Concept Rae Smith
Associate Set Designer Aaron Marsden
Costume Designer Katrina Lindsay
Lighting Designer Paule Constable
Video Designer Finn Ross
Translator Charles Hart
Benvenuto Cellini Michael Spyres
Teresa Corinne Winters
Balducci Pavlo Hunka
Fieramosca Nicholas Pallesen
Pope Clement VII Willard White
Ascanio Paula Murrihy
Francesco Nicky Spence
Bernardino David Soar
Pompeo Morgan Pearse
Benvenuto Cellini will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and Ireland and selected cinemas worldwide on 17th June 2014 as part of ENO Screen.
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