Metropolitan Opera House Interviews 'Les Troyens' Francesca Zambello

By O'Jay Burgess on Nov 27, 2012 07:27 PM EST

"Les Troyens," producer Francesca Zambello talked about how it was like recreating the Hector Berlioz's play and talks about the strong feminine presence in the piece.

The Met's Matt Dobkin asked the producer how she dealt with all the moving parts in such a big opera

Francesca Zambello:  

"Well, having done some other pieces on this scale, it always comes down to, how can you tell the story in an emotional, passionate, and clear fashion for an audience? And a work like Les Troyens actually has a very clear story throughout. I've directed the Ring, I've directed War and Peace, Khovanshchina, and in a way, they have much more complex plots. This plot, on the other hand, is very much a quest story-you are following the hero from beginning to end. But I want to be clear: it's not easy!"

Hector Berlioz was one of the premier composers of his time and the Met probed Zambello on why she thinks that is.

Francesca Zambello:

"Berlioz speaks in a way that is very dramatic and that's utterly unique-his voice is so different from his contemporaries writing around him, whether it was Verdi or late Rossini or Wagner getting going."

One of the main characters in the play is played by Debbie Voight and Zambello talked about how it was working with the actress again.

Francesca Zambello:

"When we did it the first time, it was just a year after 9/11. So we talked a lot about Cassandra in the context of being frightened about something that would happen, and watching a society plummet toward its own ruin. Those are questions that we have to ask, I think, all the time."

"Les Troyens," tells the tale of Troy in her last days. The Greeks infiltrated the Trojan city with a giant wooden horse that hid Greek soldiers who lay in wait to destroy the city.

Zambello's "Les Troyens," will be played at the Met from Dec.13 to Jan. 5. And will star the likes of Debbie Voight and Susan Graham.

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