Metropolitan Opera production photo
Over at SF Civic Center, SF Mike has a blog post called Why You Should Buy a Ticket to The Trojans. I'm here to tell you that he is right. If you are reading this blog and you can possibly get to one of the six performances coming up at San Francisco Opera, just buy a ticket. You don't need to have heard or seen it (heck, it's never been performed in full here, only in a heavily cut version 47 years ago); just go. Take our word for it. You need to see this, and it's so expensive to produce, with its immense cast and long running time, that you might not get another chance.
Les Troyens, to give it its French name, is sui generis, a giant epic that sounds like nothing else. Berlioz: a genius, so underappreciated that it wasn't until 90 years after his death that this great, great opera was performed in full.
If you need any convincing, get yourself the 1983 Met video, or the video of the Scala/ROH/SFO production (with some of the same cast members). Or get one of Colin Davis's two recordings; while you get Jon Vickers on Davis I, you also get the paint-peeling Berit Lindholm as Cassandra. I picked up Davis I, used, more than ten years ago and was hooked by the end of the first chorus.
And get yourself a ticket. There are quite a few left for the performances that Davida Karanas was originally to sing.