Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Les Troyens. It was last on stage 25 June—11 July 2012.
After the destruction of Troy, the Trojan warrior Énée sets out on a journey to found a new dynasty. He meets Didon, Queen of Carthage, and falls in love. But will Énée's love for Didon prove stronger than his sense of duty?
Les Troyens is a tour de force of music that ranges from fiery military marches to intense choruses, passionate soliloquies – such as those of the prophetess Cassandre – and the lyrical love duets of Didon and Énée. It is Hector Berlioz's largest work and he wrote the libretto himself, drawing upon his intimate knowledge of Virgil's Aeneid. To the composer's disappointment, Les Troyens was only performed once in full during his lifetime. It was often presented in shortened form during the 20th century. The Royal Opera's production provides a rare chance to see this epic work in its entirety.
David McVicar's staging is on an enormous scale, assembling one of the largest casts ever seen at Covent Garden. The sweeping theme of the rise and fall of empires runs throughout Les Troyens, along with moving meditations on love and honour.
News and features
20 February 2015
In her first post, our Writer in Residence explores the fortunes of a spectacular art form.
Stormy Weather #2: Smart techniques for bringing a storm to the stage from history's great composers23 January 2015
Beethoven inspired a host of operatic composers including Rossini, Verdi and Weill in musical methods for creating an operatic storm.
24 November 2014
19th-century opera is renowned for its depiction of intense love affairs.
1 August 2014
Recordings by Jonas Kaufmann and Gerald Finley are also shortlisted.
3 October 2013
David McVicar’s epic production of Berlioz's opera stars Olivier Award winning Bryan Hymel.
23 September 2013
As The Royal Opera revives Elektra, we explore other examples of legends on the lyric stage.
Les Troyens (in English: The Trojans) is a French grand opera in five acts by Hector Berlioz. The libretto was written by Berlioz himself from Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid; the score was composed between 1856 and 1858. Les Troyens is Berlioz's most ambitious work, the summation of his entire artistic career, but he did not live to see it performed in its entirety. Under the title Les Troyens à Carthage, the last three acts were premièred with many cuts by Léon Carvalho's company, the Théâtre Lyrique, at their theatre (now the Théâtre de la Ville) on the Place du Châtelet in Paris on 4 November 1863, with 21 repeat performances.