Live Cinema Season

Les Vêpres siciliennes (2013)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: 4 hours and 5 minutes (including two intervals)

Les Vêpres siciliennes (2013)

Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera, directed by Stefan Herheim in his UK debut.


The story

Hélène longs for vengeance on Montfort, who murdered her brother. She enlists the help of her lover, Henri, and the rebel Procida – although Henri will discover that Montfort is his father.

Against his wishes, Henri betrays his friends to save his father. In return for Henri’s acceptance, Montfort pardons Hélène and Procida. But Procida remains determined to destroy Montfort. Wedding bells give the signal for a desperate act that destroys them all.


Stefan Herheim’s production of Verdi’s French grand opera Les Vêpres siciliennes (The Sicilian Vespers) was The Royal Opera’s first, created in 2013 to mark the composer’s bicentenary. This epic, five-act work was Verdi’s first written specifically for the Paris Opéra, and in it he fully embraces the elaborate style and traditions of the grand opera genre, while remaining true to his own inimitable style. The result is thrillingly ambitious, including impressive choruses, passionate duets and spectacular showpiece arias for the four principals.

Herheim relocates the action to the time of the opera’s 1855 premiere, in the opulence of the Paris Opéra for which it was written. Set designs by Philipp Fürhofer provide a visually stunning setting for Verdi’s intense drama of personal and political tragedies. The production was acclaimed at its premiere, with The Telegraph writing, ‘executed at every artistic level with terrific flair and verve, this is grand opera at its grandest – a gorgeous visual and musical treat’.



Giuseppe Verdi


Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier


Stefan Herheim

Set designer

Philipp Fürhofer

Costume designer

Gesine Völlm

Lighting designer

Anders Poll


André de Jong


Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach


Antonio Pappano
Lianna Haroutounian
Bryan Hymel
Jean Procida
Erwin Schrott
Guy de Montfort
Michael Volle
Michelle Daly
Neal Cooper
Nico Darmanin
Jung Soo Yun
Jihoon Kim
Le Sire de Béthune
Jean Teitgen
Le Comte de Vaudemont
Jeremy White
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

News and features

To find out more visit the Les Vêpres siciliennes (2013) production page.