24 & 26 November 2017
Concerts Opera
Opéra des Nations


Opera in five acts and seven tableaux by Camille Saint-Saëns

Libretto, by Louis Gallet, is based on the 1852 play Benvenuto Cellini by Paul Meurice. First performed on March 21, 1890, at the Académie Nationale de Musique in Paris.

World Première

Concert version
In coproduction with the Haute école de musique de Genève

Sung in French with English and French surtitles
Duration: approx. 3:20 (with one intermission)

Entretien avec Guillaume Tourniaire

Of the thirteen operas by Saint-Saëns, just one, Samson, remains in the repertoire, while another, Ascanio, is yet to be showcased in its complete, original version. And yet the eponymous play by Paul Meurice, based on the memoires of Benvenuto Cellini, inspired the composer to produce an extraordinary work, blending – in a masterful tapestry of leitmotifs – the sensuality of French music, the passionate accents of Italian lyricism and the refinement of the melodies and dances of the Renaissance repertoire. Far from the hieratic style of Samson, Ascanio is a true lyrical drama during which Benvenuto Cellini, envied for his genius, prestige and the power he holds over the King of France, triumphs over the court intrigues by saving his disciple Ascanio, whose life is in danger...

Musical Director Guillaume Tourniaire
Benvenuto Cellini Jean-François Lapointe
Pagolo Joé Bertili
Ascanio Bernard Richter
Scozzone Ève-Maud Hubeaux
François 1er Jean Teitgen
La Duchesse d’Étampes Karina Gauvin
Colombe d’Estourville Clémence Tilquin
Un Mendiant Mohammed Haidar
D’Estourville Bastien Combe
D’Orbec Maxence Billiemaz
Charles-Quint Raphaël Hardmeyer
Une Ursuline Olivia Doutney
Orchestre symphonique de la HEM  
Grand Théâtre Opera Chorus
HEM Chorus

Director Alan Woodbridge


Nov 2017
Friday 24 |  7:30 pm
Sunday 26 |  3 pm