Today at the Proms - Prom 59

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 59: Benvenuto Cellini ...

Very much an unknown quantity for me tonight as we get Berlioz's opera Benvenuto Cellini, based on the life and loves of the eponymous Renaissance sculptor. It's one I haven't seen, heard or even know much about but that's not surprising since, as the full scale opera is rarely performed. It's also seemingly very challenging, with even the composer himself allegedly saying "I had been greatly struck by certain episodes in the life of Benvenuto Cellini. I had the misfortune to believe they would make an interesting and dramatic subject for an opera..." Only they didn't, and a lot of the stories throughout the opera's libretto were apparently made up - never let the facts get in the way of a good story I guess.

Tonight's performance is semi-staged, so we'll get costumes and singers but no sets, and you're going to have to read surtitles (subtitles above rather than below what's going on) because it's sung in French. Anyway here's the overture, so no singing or surtitles, so that we get a flavour of the opera ahead of tonight's prom.

Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live from 19:30 on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer 

Hector Berlioz
Benvenuto Cellini(154 mins)(concert performance; sung in French, with surtitles)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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