Les Troyens (The Trojans)

November 13. 2016 - December 03. 2016

Upcoming Dates

November 13. 2016 - December 03. 2016

New Production & Lyric Premiere Les Troyens (The Trojans)


The drama of the Trojan War, replete with heroes and tragedy, has captivated audiences from literature to film, and nowhere does it come to life more vividly than in French opera’s most astounding work, Les Troyens. Grand and glorious in its musical and dramatic breadth, this operatic retelling of Virgil’s Aeneid is rarely performed because of its enormous scale. Experience the tidal wave of sound from Lyric’s massive chorus and orchestra and the exciting ballet as this theatrical tour de force unfolds with a powerhouse cast. Sir Andrew Davis conducts this much-anticipated Lyric premiere that will draw opera lovers from all over the world!

  • Language: Performed in French with projected English translations
  • Running Time: 4 hours 40 minutes including 2 intermissions
  • Location: Lyric Opera House

Les Troyens

by Hector Berlioz

Recording by EMI – Crespin, Chauvet, cond. Prêtre.
Musical excerpts provided through generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“Mahlheureux roi!"

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"Inutiles regrets!"

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Les Troyens

by Hector Berlioz

Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.

© 2016/17 Lyric Opera Commentaries
Musical excerpts provided through generous arrangement with Warner Classics, Official Education and Promotion Music Provider for Lyric Opera of Chicago. All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
A project of the Women's Board.


Part 1: The Taking of Troy
The city of Troy after ten years of siege.
The Greeks’ siege of Troy seems to have ended after ten years when they leave an enormous wooden horse, apparently as a parting gift, but the Trojan princess Cassandra prophecies disaster. She is proven correct: Greek soldiers emerge from the horse and wreak catastrophe on what remains of the city. The women of Troy join Cassandra in committing suicide rather than submit to the Greeks. The hero Aeneas escapes, ready to fulfill his destiny by founding a new Troy in Italy.

Part 2: The Trojans at Carthage
The newly built city of Carthage.
Aeneas and his men lead Carthage’s army to victory in battle. Queen Dido of Carthage and Aeneas fall in love, but their idyll ends when the hero realizes that fate is too strong: he must leave for Italy. The despairing Dido mounts a funeral pyre and, after proclaiming the coming of a Carthaginian general (Hannibal) who will avenge her, she stabs herself with Aeneas’s sword. She dies envisioning Carthage’s eventual destruction at the hands of Rome, as her people curse Aeneas and his descendants.

Program book

Go inside this production of Les Troyens with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.

View Digital Program Book

Meet the artists

* Lyric debut
** Ryan Opera Center alumnus

Lyric’s new production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens is generously sponsored by

Donna Van Eekeren Foundation

The Nelson Cornelius Production Endowment Fund

Photo: Todd Rosenberg