Benvenuto Cellini


Hector Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini opera to a libretto by Léon de Wailly and Henri Auguste Barbier. Directed 2015 by Terry Gilliam. Stars John Osborn (Benvenuto Cellini), Maurizio Muraro (Gicacomo Balducci), Laurent Naouri (Fieramosca), Orlin Anastassov (Le Pape Clément VII), Nicky Spence (Francesco), Scott Conner (Bernardino), André Morsch (Pompeo), Marcel Beekman (Le Cabaretier), Mariangela Sicilia (Teresa), and Michèle Losier (Ascanio). Sir Mark Elder conducts the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chorus of the Dutch National Opera (Chorus Master Ching-Lien Wu). Co-direction and choreography by Leah Hausman; stage designs by Terry Gilliam and Aaron Marsden; costumes by Katrina Lindsay; lighting by Paule Constable; video designs by Finn Ross. Directed for film by François Roussillon.  Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Hugo Shirley (August 2018 Gramophone at pages 87-88) doesn’t like the mise-en-scène here as well as the singers and the conducting. Still, there are only 2 Blu-rays of Benvenuto Cellini on the market and Hugo prefers this Gilliam production to the one by Stölzl. Roger Pines, writing in the December 2018 Opera News (pages 54-55) says this must have been fun in the flesh but “on the small screen it’s exhausting.” Well, some of us have big screens, so enjoy!

Here is a clip from the Dutch National Opera with director Gilliam: