Music: Epic at the Met

"I have just completed the poem and score of Les Troyens, an opera in five acts," wrote Hector Berlioz in his memoirs in 1858. "What is to become of this immense work?" There was enough realism in Berlioz's idealistic nature for him to know full well that the fate of Les Troyens lay, in more ways than one, in the hands of the gods. Little did he know that they would decree a century of neglect.

The text of Les Troyens was drawn from Virgil's Aeneid by Berlioz himself. It is an Iliadic arch...

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