Semperoper Dresden 2 July 2024 - Benvenuto Cellini | GoComGo.com

Benvenuto Cellini

Semperoper Dresden, Semperoper Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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7 PM

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Dresden, Germany
Starts at: 19:00

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Overview

Hector Berlioz was known for his phenomenally differentiated use of the orchestra and its instruments. His many admirers included Richard Wagner. The richly varied score ranges from large-scale tableaux with rousing choral passages to uniquely orchestrated chamber scenes. In this way, Berlioz creates an unparalleled musical depiction of revelry at carnival time.

In his early opera "Benvenuto Cellini", which premiered in Paris in 1838, Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) produced an astonishing work of art centred around one of the most important artists of the 16th century. Although the opera sketches only three days in the colourful life of the Florentine sculptor, namely between Shrove Monday and Ash Wednesday in 1532, they are tumultuous enough: After several hours in the hustle and bustle of carnival celebrations in Rome, during which Cellini fatally stabs an enemy, the artist nevertheless enjoys sweet victory at the story’s end.

History
Premiere of this production: 10 September 1838, Salle Le Peletier, Paris

Benvenuto Cellini is an opera semiseria in two acts with music by Hector Berlioz and libretto by Léon de Wailly and Henri Auguste Barbier. It was the first of Berlioz's operas, premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique (Salle Le Peletier) on 10 September 1838. The story is inspired by the memoirs of the Florentine sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, although the elements of the plot are largely fictional. The opera is technically very challenging and rarely performed. However, the overture to the opera sometimes features in symphony orchestra programs, as does the concert overture Le carnaval romain which Berlioz composed from material in the opera.

Synopsis

Time: 1532
Place: Rome, during Carnival, over Shrove Monday, Mardi Gras, and Ash Wednesday.

Act 1

Tableau 1 (Balducci's residence)

Balducci has been summoned to a meeting with Pope Clement VII concerning the Pope's commission of a bronze statue of Perseus from the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini. Balducci would have preferred Fieramosca as the chosen sculptor; he also hopes to marry his daughter Teresa to Fieramosca. But Teresa is smitten with Cellini. Before Balducci goes to his meeting with the Pope, Cellini and other Carnival celebrators come on the scene, and pelt Balducci with fausses dragées (flour pellets) that make Balducci look "like a leopard". He can't clean himself off, however, so he continues to his meeting.

A bouquet of flowers comes through the window and lands at Teresa's feet. Attached is a note from Cellini saying that he is coming up. He does so, and explains his plan to take her away from her father so that they can live together. He and his assistant Ascanio will be disguised as monks, and will take her from her father during the Mardi Gras celebrations, when the Castel Sant'Angelo cannon is sounded to mark the end of Carnival. Unbeknownst to them both, Fieramosca has also entered the room, and tries to eavesdrop on them. He does not hear all the information on the first rendition, but he does on the second.

Upon hearing Balducci approach, Fieramosca hides in Teresa's bedroom, and Cellini hides behind the main room door. To distract her father, Teresa invents a story about a noise in her bedroom. Balducci goes into her bedroom, and Cellini escapes in the meantime. To Teresa's surprise, Balducci produces Fieramosca from the bedroom. He and Teresa call on the servants and neighbors to take Fieramosca and dump him outside in the fountain, but Fieramosca breaks free of the crowd.

Tableau 2 (Piazza Colonna)

Cellini, his apprentices and friends sing the praises of being goldsmiths. Bernardino asks for more wine, but the innkeeper demands settlement of their tab. Ascanio then appears with the Pope's advance payment for the Perseus statue, but also with a warning that the casting of the statue must occur the next day. The amount of money in the advance is less than expected, which gives new impetus to the plan to mock Balducci at Cassandro's booth that night.

Fieramosca has also overheard this plan, and confides to his friend Pompeo. Pompeo suggests that they too disguise themselves as monks and abduct Teresa themselves.

People gather in the piazza. A crowd assembles at Cassandro's booth, where "the pantomime-opera of King Midas or The Ass's Ears" is unfurled. Balducci and Teresa enter, soon after Cellini and Ascanio dressed as monks, and then Fieramosca and Pompeo similarly disguised. In the pantomime, Harlequin and Pierrot compete for the attention of King Midas, who is attired to look like Balducci. At this, the real Balducci approaches the stage, leaving Teresa alone. Both sets of "friars" then approach Teresa, to her confusion. The four friars begin to battle by sword, and in the struggle, Cellini fatally stabs Pompeo. The crowd becomes silent, and Cellini is arrested for murder. As he is about to be taken away, the three cannon shots from Castel Sant'Angelo are heard, indicating the end of Carnival and the start of Lent. All of the lights in the piazza are extinguished. During the darkness and resulting confusion, Cellini escapes his captors and Ascanio and Teresa go off. Fieramosca is then mistakenly arrested in Cellini's place.

Act 2

Tableau 1 (Ash Wednesday, Cellini's studio)

Ascanio and Teresa wait for Cellini in his studio. When a procession of friars passes by, they join in the prayer. Cellini then enters, still in monk's disguise, and recounts his escape. Because he is now wanted for murder, he plans to escape Rome with Teresa, but Ascanio reminds him of his obligation to cast the statue. Ascanio goes off to find a horse. Balducci and Fieramosca then appear. Balducci denounces Cellini as a murderer and then promises Teresa to Fieramosca in marriage.

The Pope then appears to check on the progress of the statue. Cellini makes excuses, but the Pope dismisses them and decides that he will give the commission to another sculptor. Cellini then threatens to destroy the mould, and when the Pope's guards approach him, he raises his hammer. The Pope then makes Cellini an offer: if Cellini can cast the statue that evening, he will forgive Cellini's crimes and let him marry Teresa. But if Cellini fails, he will be hanged.

Tableau 2 (Ash Wednesday, evening, Cellini's foundry)

After an aria from Teresa, Cellini comes on stage and muses on the quiet life of a shepherd. The workmen are at their labours and sing a sea-shanty, which Cellini sees as a bad omen. Ascanio and Cellini encourage the goldsmiths to continue their work. Fieramosca then arrives with two henchmen and challenges Cellini to a duel. Cellini accepts and asks to settle it on the spot, but Fieramosca prefers it to be done away from his workplace. Fieramosca and his men leave.

Teresa arrives and sees Ascanio hand Cellini his rapier, but Cellini assures her that he will be safe. Alone, she hears the workmen start to lay down their tools and stop work, as they have not been paid and lack direction from Cellini. She tries to assure them that they will be paid eventually, but to no avail. Fieramosca then appears, and Teresa faints, thinking that Cellini is dead. This is not so, as Fieramosca is about to offer a bribe to the goldsmiths to cease work completely. This turns the goldsmiths against Fieramosca and they reassert their loyalty to Cellini. Cellini then reappears, and he and the workmen force Fieramosca to don workclothes to help out.

In the evening, the Pope and Balducci arrive to see if the statue is completed. Fieramosca then announces that they are out of metal, which Francesco and Bernardino confirm. Balducci and Fieramosca are pleased at Cellini's impending failure. Cellini then prays, and in a moment of desperation, orders that all art works in his studio, of whatever metal, be put into the crucible and melted, to the consternation of Francesco and Bernardino. After this is done, an explosion blows the lid off the crucible. Then molten metal emerges to fill the mould, and the casting is successful. Balducci and Fieramosca acknowledge Cellini's success. The Pope pardons Cellini, and Cellini and Teresa are united. The opera closes with praise for the goldsmiths.

Venue Info

Semperoper Dresden - Dresden
Location   Theaterplatz 2

Not only one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, the Semperoper is renowned both in Germany and abroad for the brilliant star-studded performances by Saxon State Opera as well as numerous international guest artists.

This is the home of the Staatskapelle Dresden, an orchestra which looks back on 460 years of uninterrupted music-making. The State Opera Chorus was founded by Carl Maria von Weber in 1817. Operatic history has been written here, with the Semperoper playing host to numerous important premieres, such as Richard Wagner’s "Rienzi", "Der fliegende Holländer" and "Tannhäuser". There is also an indissoluble link to Richard Strauss, nine of whose 15 operas were premiered in Dresden, including "Salome", "Der Rosenkavalier" and "Elektra". The small venue Semper Zwei provides space for diverse forms of music theatre as well as theatrical experiments, and is also the venue for performances of Semperoper Junge Szene.

The magnificent Semperoper dominates the Theaterplatz be-side the river Elbe, forming the centrepiece of the historic old city. The original building opened its doors in 1841, constructed to a design by Gottfried Semper which combined a late Classical style with Renaissance elements. Following a devastating fire in 1869, the citizens of Dresden immediately set about rebuilding their beloved opera house. This was completed in 1878, also to a design by Semper. In 1945, during the final months of World War II, the Semperoper was once again razed to the ground.

After a second reconstruction was successfully completed in 1985, the reopening of one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses was celebrated with a performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s "Freischütz".
The dazzling interiors were painstakingly reconstructed by local craftsmen and artists according to original plans, with state-of-the art stage machinery and technical fittings in the auditorium. A modern annex was added to house the administrative offices and rehearsal rooms. Internationally renowned for its brilliant acoustics and incomparable performances, audiences from around the world continue to flock here to enjoy unforgettable experiences at the Semperoper Dresden.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Dresden, Germany
Starts at: 19:00
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