This page presents some recent general Berlioz-related news and forthcoming events. For details of performances of Berlioz’s music please see Forthcoming Performances.
Please contact us if you wish to share similar information with others.
Last update: 8 December 2013
David Cairns – Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – update
We are delighted to announce that David Cairns was made the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on 13 November 2013 at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Kensington Palace Gardens, London, with the Ambassador Bernard Emié conducting the ceremony.
We are most grateful to our friend Christopher Follett for this information.
You can read on our site the speeches given on this occasion by H.E. Bernard Emié and David Cairns. (see also the French version of H.E. Bernard Emié’s speech.)
“ 2003-2013, 10 years of acquisitions” – New Exhibition at the Hector-Berlioz Museum
Ten years ago, the Isère Department celebrated the bicentenary of Berlioz’s birth in a more special way. The house in which he was born reopened its doors in 2003 after a huge programme of renovation and restoration. Since then, the Museum’s collections have been enriched to help deepen the knowledge about the composer.
This exhibition, entitled “2003-2013, 10 ans d’Acquisitions”, will be inaugurated at 6.00pm on 11 December, the 210th anniversary of Berlioz’s birth. Madame Chantal Spillemaecker, Directrice du Musée Hector-Berlioz, and M. Antoine Troncy, Assistant qualifié de Conservation, will present the acquisitions made by the Museum over the past 10 years.
The Exhibition will be held from 12 December 2013 to 31 May 2014.
See also our page on Temporary exhibitions held at the museum.
A new recording of L’Enfance du Christ – update
On 13 and 14 December 2012 Robin Ticciati conducted the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in two performances of L’Enfance du Christ at the Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, with Véronique Gens, Alastair Miles, Yann Beuron, and Stephan Loges.
This recording has now been released. Catalogue no. CKD440.
See also www.linnrecords.com/recording-l-enfant-d-christ.aspx for Hugh Macdonald’s text on L’Enfance which accompanies the booklet of the CD.
A new edition of A travers chants
This edition of Berlioz’s 1862 is published by Symétrie, with a preface by Emmanuel Reibel.
Roméo et Juliette in Paris
Valery Gergiev conducted a performance of Waverley Ouverture, La Mort de Cléopâtre, Symphonie fantastique on 16 November and a performance of Roméo et Juliette on the 17th, at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
There are two reviews of these concerts elsewhere on this site:
– a review of the performance of Roméo et Juliette by our Pierre-René Serna: Quand Gergiev célèbre Berlioz (in French), and
– a review of both concerts by our Chrsitian Wasselin: Gergiev par deux fois (in French).
See also a review of the same concerts by Patrick Georges Montaigu on ResMusica website: Valery Gergiev très affûté inspiré par Berlioz (in French)
Le Freyschütz at the Opéra de Nice
The Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur stageed the French version of Weber’s opera (with recitatives by Berlioz) on 17, 19, 21, 23 November.
Here is a review by Christian Wasselan of the performance on 19 November: Weberlioz à Nice
Benvenuto Cellini in London – update
Terry Gilliam will direct a new production of Benvenuto Cellini to be staged by the English National Opera. In summer of 2011 (May and June) he produced a staged production of La Damnation de Faust for the ENO.
There will be 8 performances, starting on 5 June 2014, conducted by Edward Gardner. The cast includes Michael Spyres (Benvenuto Cellini), Corrine Winters (Teresa), Pavlo Hunka (Balcucci), Nicky Spence (Francesco), Paula Mirriny (Ascanio), Willard White (Pope Clement VII), Richard Burkhard (Fieramosca).
For details please seeUnited Kingdom in Forthcoming Performances.
Excerpts from Benvenuto Cellini at the Julliard School
The Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School will present an evening of opera featuring Act I of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Stravinsky’s rarely-performed one-act comedy Mavra; Act I, scene 1 of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini; and Act I, part 2 of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in the fourth collaboration between the two institutions.
The Met Music Director James Levine will conduct the Juilliard Orchestra and singers from the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, as well as singers from the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard.
Venue: Peter Jay Sharp Theater, the Juilliard School
Dates: 11 and 14 February 2014 at 8.00pm; 16 February 2014 at 2.00pm
Further information: http://www.juilliard.edu/about/newsroom/2013-14
Une transcription pour orgue de la Symphonie fantastique – by Christian Wasselin
This article reviews a recording of Yves Rechsteiner’s transcription of the Symphonie fantastique for organ (VDE-GALLO Records, catalogue no. CD 1416). The article is in French.
Berlioz Fortnight at the Barbican – a selection of reviews(update)
Valery Gergiev conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the Waverley Overture, Les Nuits d’été, Symphonie fantastique, the overture to Benvenuto Cellini, Cléopâtre, Harold en Italie, La Damnation de Faust and Roméo et Juliette in 8 concerts between 31 October and 14 November.
Here are links to a selection of reviews of these concerts
V. Review of the concert on 13 November: Roméo et Juliette
The Guardian: LSO/Gergiev – review
Reviews of the concert on
Overture to Benvenuto Cellini,
Harold en Italie
The Financial Times: London
Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev, Barbican
Classical Source: LSO/Valery Gergiev with Karen Cargill and Antoine Tamestit
III. Reviews of the concert on 6 November: Roméo et Juliette
London Evening Standard: Romeo
and Juliet (LSO/Gergiev)
George Slater-Walker on Bachtrack: The symphony that is not one: Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the LSO and Gergiev
II. Reviews of the concert on 3 November: La Damnation de Faust
The Daily Telegraph: Valery Gergiev double bill,
ResMusica: A Londres Berlioz et le LSO continuent l’idylle (in French)
The Guardian: The Damnation of Faust, Barbican, London
The Arts Desk: La Damnation de Faust, LSO, Gergiev
What’s on stage: La Damnation de Faust (LSO/Gergiev)
I. Reviews of the concert on 31 October: Waverley Overture, Les Nuits d’été, Symphonie fantastique
The Guardian: LSO/Gergiev – Barbican Hall, London
George Slater-Walker on Bachtrack: Uncanny,surpassing Berlioz from Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican
(See also below the outline of all the the concerts.)
Benvenuto Cellini in Münster, Germany – update
The 2013-2014 season of the Theater Münster features a staged production of Benvenuto Cellini. There will be a matinée perforamce at 11.30am on 2 February, with the first-night performance on 15 February 2014, in the Theater Münster – 10 performances in all, between February and June.
For further details see Germany in Forthcoming Performances.
Les Troyens on DVD – update
A recording of the 2102 (June, July) performances of a new production of Les Troyens at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden was released on DVD by Opus Arte on 30 September 2013.
See also on the website of the Gramophone magazine: Epic opera: how to film Berlioz’s Les Troyens for the small screen
150th anniversary of the première of Les Troyens
To mark this anniversary, here is a list of links to articles and reviews of various performances of Les Troyens on the site, dating from 1863 to 1969 and from 2000 to 2013::
|4 November 1863 (the first performance of Les Troyens (truncated)||The
première of Les Troyens in 1863 (in English)
La première des Troyens en 1863 (in French)
Reviews and reports of the performances of Les Troyens originally published between 1863 and 1969:
|Le Ménestrel, 8 and 15 November 1863||A review of the première of Les Troyens, by Auguste de Gasperini (in French)|
|Journal des Débats, 9 November 1863||Première of M. H. Berlioz’s Les Troyens, by Joseph d’Ortigue (in French)|
|Le Monde Illustré, 14 November 1863||A review of the première of Les Troyens (in French)|
|Le Monde Illustré, 14 November 1863||A review of Act V of Les Troyens (in French)|
Journal des Débats, 14 November 1886
|Les Troyens à l’Opéra, by Ernest Reyer (in French)|
|An article first published in December 1890||Les Troyens à Carlsruhe, by Adolphe Jullien (in French)|
Journal des Débats, 12 June 1892
|Théâtre de l’Opéra-Comique : Les Troyens (reprise), by Ernest Reyer (in French)|
|Le Ménestrel, 12 June 1892||
Les Troyens à Carthage, de Berlioz, à l’Opéra-Comique, by Julien Tiersot (in French)
|Le Monde Illustré, 18 June 1892||
Les Troyens [à l’Opéra-Comique], by A. Boisard (in French)
|Le Ménestrel, 19 November 1899||
La Prise de Troie [à l’Opéra de Paris], by Arthur Pougin (in French)
| Journal des Débats, 26 November 1899
La Prise de Troie, opéra en quatre actes,
Le Théâtre, No. 25, January 1900 (I)
La Prise de Troie [à l’Opéra de Paris], by Adolphe Jullien (in French)
|The Illustrated London News, 8 June 1957||Les Troyens at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in English)|
|Saturday Review Recordings, 29 June 1957||Berlioz’s “Troyens” at Covent Garden, by Ernest Newman (in English)|
|The Illustrated London News, 27 September 1969||The Trojans triumphant at Covent Garden, by Margaret Davies (in English)|
For modern reviews of performances of Les Troyens between 2000 and 2013, see: Reviews of live performances of Berlioz’s music (in English or French)
Julien Tiersot : Berlioziana
We have now completed the transcription and publication of the original French text of all the Berlioziana and other articles on Berlioz published by Tiersot in Le Ménestrel between 1904 and 1911 (127 in all). The first set of transcribed articles were published on 1 May 2012 and the last on 1 November 2013.
See also Julien Tiersot : Berlioziana (French) and Julien Tiersot : Berlioziana (presentation in English, articles in the original French).
A new book which contains discussions of Berlioz’s music
Librairie Arthème Fayard has published a book by Emmanuel Reibel
entitled Comment la musique est devenue “romantique”.
De Rousseau à Berlioz (Éditions Fayard, 2013).
Reibel is the author of L’écriture de la critique musicale au temps de Berlioz (Champion, 2005).
“Une page d’amour romantique” – Berlioz’s letters to Madame Fornier
A digital copy of the original Une page d’amour romantique : lettres inédites à Madame Estelle Fornier, published in Paris in 1903, is now available to read online or to download for free, in various formats including pdf, at the following location:
Another new book on Berlioz
The title of this French language book, by Dominique Catteau, is Les Troyens d’Hector Berlioz ou La tragédie de l’Absence; it has been published by the Société des écrivains.
A new book on Berlioz
This new book, by Enrique García Revilla, is entitled La estetica musical de Hector Berlioz a través de sus textos [Hector Berlioz’s musical aesthetics through his writings] and has been published by PUV, the publishing house of the Universitat de València. The text is in Spanish, with a preface by Pierre-René Serna.
Read also elsewhere on the site Pierre-René Serna’s review of this book: Berlioz vu de l’autre versant des Pyrénées. (in French)
Broadcast of Troyens on France Musique – update
The 12 July 2013 concert performance of Les Toyens at the Opera de Marseille was broadcast on Saturday 14 September on France Musique. It is now available to listen again until 10 June 2014, at the following location:
You may also like to read a review of this performance by Christian Wasselin (in French).
A new book on La Côte-Saint-André
La Côte-Saint-André, promenades de charme à travers la ville, by Dominique Fabre (Livres-Patrimoine, 2013), is a richly illustrated and well-researched book, organised in a number of themes/promenades. It guides the visitors to explore the town’s many historic buildings and locations, and its association with eminent people who were born and/or lived and worked there.
“Today’s concert programmes are tomorrow’s historic documents”
Do you have any concert programme notes, flyers, posters, and other
documents related to performances of Berlioz’s music that you have attended or
collected over time?
If so, you may like to consider donating them to the Hector Berlioz Museum to be added to their rich collection of documents.
Here is the Museum’s postal address: 69 rue de la République, 38260 La Côte Saint-André, Isère, France.
Les Troyens at La Scala Milan –update
Antonio Pappano will conduct Les Troyens in 2014, in a co-production with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (June and July 2012); San Francisco Opera and Wiener Staatsoper, with Gregory Kunde, Fabio Capitanucci, Giacomo Prestia, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Daniela Barcellona and Maria Radn in principal roles.
For further details see Italy in Forthcoming Performances.
Exhibition at the Hector Berlioz Museum – update
The title of this year’s temporary exhibition at the Hector Berlioz Museum is “Richard Wagner, la légende orchestrée”; it was inaugurated on 21 June and will run from 22 June 2013 to 6 January 2014.
See also on this site: Temporary exhibitions at the Museum.
Deplorable vandalism committed against Berlioz’s statue
We are shocked to learn about the defacement of Berlioz’s statue on the Square Berlioz in Paris, as seen in the photos below. Two fingers of the statue on the left of the picture have also been broken. We strongly condemn this act of wanton vandalism.
The photographs were taken on 24 May at the Square Berlioz by Danièle Gasiglia (secrétaire générale des Amis de Victor Hugo) and M. Christophe Guillouët. We are grateful to our friend Pierre-René Serna for this information and for the electronic copies of the photos.
La Damnation de Faust at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2014
The 2013-14 season of the Deutsche Oper Berlin features 8 staged performances of La Damnation de Faust in February, March, May and June 2014, conducted by Donald Runnicles.
For details please see Germany in Forthcoming Performances.
The literature that inspired some of Berlioz’s music
The following websites offer free download of, amongst others, works by the following authors in various formats, including epub (for ebook readers), pdf and Word. Some works are in both French and English languages:
Byron (including Child Harold’s Pilgrimage)
Shakespeare (all his works, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Much ado about Nothing)
Walter Scott (including Waverley)
The websites are:
NB: Victor Hugo’s Les Orientales is at: http://archive.org/details/lesorientales01hugogoog
“Épisode ultime de la vie d’un artiste” – a play by Thierry Rousselet
The play, Épisode ultime de la vie d’un artiste Paris, hiver 1839 [Final episode of the life of an artist Paris winter 1839] is about the unlikely meeting between Berlioz and the caretaker of a concert hall where the rehearsal of the Symphonie fantastique is taking place. The play is published by Éditions Le Solitaire in their Collection Jeune Théâtre series. ISBN 978-2-364070530.
For further details visit: http://www.ed-lesolitaire.com/.
A large selection of autograph letters of Berlioz online
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is currently publishing the autograph letters of Berlioz in their collection online; a large number of the letters are already available at:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/Search?ArianeWireIndex=index&p=1&lang=fr&q=lettre+de+Berlioz (presentation in French)
http://gallica.bnf.fr/Search?ArianeWireIndex=index&p=1&lang=EN&q=lettre+de+Berlioz (presentation in English)
Berlioz’s music on Youtube
A large number of videos of performances of Berlioz’s music can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/artist/hector-berlioz/videos
Berlioz’s granddaughter Clémentine
As you may know Louis had a daughter from a young lady with whom he had liaison. A letter by the mother of this person addressed to Louis and concerning the welfare of the little girl is published in vol. VII of Correspondance Générale, letter no. 2855, footnote 1 (the original of the letter is in the Berlioz Museum). Until recently it had been assumed that Clémentine was born in Le Havre c. 1854.
According to the bulletin of the Association nationale Hector Berlioz, Lélio, La Lettre de l’AnHB, no. 28, October 2012, two researchers have discovered a document which indicates that Clémentine was born in Marseille on 31 March 1861.
It should be noted that the merchant ship of which Louis was a senior officer frequently docked in the port of Marseille and Louis had a close relationship with Berlioz’s lifelong friend Auguste Morel and his family.
Two new books with strong connections to Berlioz
These books, by Pierre-René Serna, are entitled, L’Anti-Wagner sans peine (Presses Universitaires de France, 2012) and Guide de la Zarzuela (Bleu Nuit éditeur, 2012).
La Malédiction [The Curse] – a beautiful and moving short video filmed in La Côte Saint-André
This film won the first prize at the Festival du court métrage amateur
[Festival of amateur short films] in 2011.
creator: Gaël Fonvieille
screenplay: Patrick Fonvieille
actors: Yves Thomas, Hector Arnaud, Christiane Fonvieille, Anna Bianca, Patrick Fonvieille, Gaël Fonvieille.
A major composition by the Dutch composer Jacques Bank inspired by Berlioz
The composition is a ‘sort of opera’ about Berlioz, based on texts taken from Berlioz’s own writings (Mémoires, letters, etc) and D. Kern Holomon’s biography of Berlioz. It is entitled Episodes de la vie d’un artiste, and was first performed on two consecutive evenings on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994. The focus of the work is on Berlioz’s relationship with Harriet Smithson and their son Louis, which in the composition is represented by a boys’ choir.
For more information on this composition visit Mr Bank’s
website at: www.jacquesbank.net,
On another page of the website quite extensive fragments of the composition can be listened to: http://www.jacquesbank.net/audio_popups/episodes.htm.
Wiener Staatsoper – A planned new production of Les Troyens
In an interview Roberto Alagna tells that he has been asked by Dominique Meyer, musical director of the Vienna State Opera, to sing in Les Toyens. (In the end Alagna refused this offer.). We shall keep you informed of further developments.
A message from Maestro Guillermo Figueroa
Here are videos of a performance of the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique that I did with the Texas All-State Orchestra. There were 130 players, just like Berlioz would have wanted! It’s hard to believe they are all high school kids, they’re so good. They play hot, and with a lot of freedom and rubato, more than making up for an occasional ensemble lapse.
BERLIOZ Symphonie Fantastique
Movement 1 – Dreams and passions
Movement 2 – A ball
Movement 3 – A scene in the country
Movement 4 - March to the Scaffold
Movement 5 – Dream of a Witche’s Sabbath
The Hector Berlioz Museum is awarded the title of “Maison des Illustres”
At the initiative of M. Frédéric Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, the title of Maison des Illustres (‘House of the Illustrious’) was created in 2010 to raise the cultural and social profile of such establishments and publicise their distinctive heritage. The title is awarded to houses of exceptional cultural interest and guarantees an outstanding welcome to all members of the public.
According to the press release by the Conseil général de l’Isère issued on 7 July 2011, the Minister was pleased to inform M. André Vallini, président of the Conseil général and député of the Isère department at the Assemblée Nationale, that the Hector Berlioz Museum had been selected among the establishments to receive the award for its status as a heritage site.
The Maison des Illustres plaque is now installed on the front wall of the Museum.
Les Troyens in Barcelona
Nikolai Schukoff’s agency has announced his engagement as Énée in a projected production of Les Troyens at the Gran Teatre de Liceu, Barcelona. Further details are awaited.
Les Troyens at Cologne in 2014
The Oper Köln will stage Les Troyens in March-April 2014, with Lance Ryan as Enée. Further details are awaited.
Les Troyens in Madrid
Sylvain Cambreling will conduct a new production of Les Troyens in 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, with Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandre), Susan Graham (Didon) and Paul Groves (Enée). The stage director is Dmitri Tcherniakov.
Journal des Débats online
The Bibliothèque nationale de France has placed online in their Gallica section all the issues of the Journal des Débats politiques et littéraires, which was published from 1814 to 1944. You may access them at: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb39294634r/date.
Berlioz contributed to this influential journal from 1834 to 1863. See on our site Berlioz: Feuilletons – Journal des Débats 1834 - 1863 ; see also elsewhere on the site a brief note on the Bertin family who owned and edited the journal.
Voyage musical en Allemagne et en Italie online
An early edition of Berlioz’s Voyage musical en Allemagne et en Italie is available online (in two volumes) in the Gallica section of the Bibiliothèque national de France. The early editions of some other works by Berlioz have been on Gallica for quite some time.
Haydn Greenway, an artist and admirer of Berlioz, has arranged for a reproduction of one of his Berlioz oil paintings to be printed on white T-shirts, which are available for purchase. For further details please see Berlioz T-Shirts on this site.
See also on this site some of Mr Greenway’s paintings inspired by Berlioz’s
http://www.hberlioz.com/arts/greenway.htm, http://www.hberlioz.com/arts/greenway1.htm, www.hberlioz.com/arts/greenway2.htm,
www.hberlioz.com/arts/greenway3.htm and www.hberlioz.com/arts/greenway4.htm
We would like to express our gratitude to all those who have in the past and at present contributed to this page: Association nationale Hector Berlioz, John Ahouse, Ruth Akers, Philippe Allante, Association Messiaen 2008, Jacques Bank, Yann Beaumin, Bernadette Beyne, Peter Bloom, Ilke Boran, Hugues Blunat (of the Orchestre des Gardiens de la Paix de Paris), Gunther Braam, David Cairns, Professor Luc Charles-Dominique, Didier Charton, Andrew Coombs (Bristol Choral Society), Peter Craik (Royal Academy of Music), Jean-Philippe Dartevel, Eric Delcommenne (of the Belgian Post Office), Jean-Michel Desai, Julien Di Tommaso (Director of Compagnie Interlude), Pepijn van Doesburg, Elena Dolenko, M. Daniel Dollé (Deputy Directeur Géneral of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Márvio dos Anjos, Adeline Ducasse, Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua (Pianist), Maestro Guillermo Figueroa, Frédéric Fleurot, Christopher Follett, Franziska Geus, Misoon Ghim, Thomas Glasow, Robert Goldberg, Haydn Greenway, Keith Gunnar, Gene Halaburt, Frank Heidlberger (Professor of Music Theory), Harald Janko, Diana Jefkins, James Kearney, Craig Kridel, Dr. Klaus Heinrich Kohrs, Will Lardinois, Yann Le Bras (of the Absolutamente company), Louis-Paul Lepaumier, Gilles Lesur, Jacques-Francois L’Oiseleur Des Longchamps, Rob Lown, Jean Claude Luc, David López-Rey Lumbreras, Professor Hugh Macdonald, Bruno Messina (Artistic Director of the Berlioz Festival), Patrick James Miller, Muriel Mironneau (Directrice de la communication, SeaFrance), Norbert Molina, Christophe Monge (aida38), Jim Morris, Peter Nicholas (Stars in Brass), Alison Palmer, Alice Pearson (Cover CD Editor of the BBC Music Magazine), Ronald Peterson, Valérien Pitarch, Patricia Pouchulu, Bennett Ramberg, Michel Raynaud, Ellen Reilly, Alain Reynaud (General Secretary of the Association nationale Hector Berlioz), Alan Robertson (a director and member of the City of Glasgow Chorus), Thierry Rousselet, François Sachot (from Théâtre du Chêne Vert), Alain Salomon (of Radio France Bleu Isère), Bob Salvi, Pierre-René Serna, Jesus Sevari (of the Absolutamente company), Larry Simmons, Molly Skardon, Cyrille Songeur, Chantal Spillemaecker (Conservateur du Musée Hector-Berlioz), Didi Stewart, Conrad Tobler, Dave Tomlins, Michele Troise, M. Antoine Troncy (Assistant de Conservation du Musée Hector Berlioz), Ralph Unterburg, Steven Van Impe, Mark Vendy, Sue Vernon, Olga Visentini, Heinz Peter Wacker, Christian Wasselin, Delmar Williams, David Winn, Leo Wong, Michael Wright, John Wrzesien and Douglas Yeo.
The Hector Berlioz Website was created by Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin on 18
The Recent News page created on 27 December 2000.
© 2000-2013 Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin
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