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LA VESTALE is Now Playing at Paris Opera

Performances run through July 11.

By: Jul. 09, 2024
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Gaspare Spontini's La Vestale is now playing at the Paris Opera. Performances run through July 11.

Julia, a priestess in the Temple of Vesta, is torn between her religious duties and her love for the Roman general Licinius. This is the crux of La Vestale, Gaspare Spontini’s opera, written at the beginning of the First Empire.

Dedicated to Josephine and multiplying political allusions to Napoleon, the work was a triumph from its first performance at the Paris Opera in 1807. Admired by Berlioz, the score features brilliant orchestration and a sustained lyrical vocal style that heralds grand opera while remaining true to the legacy of Gluck.

After remaining absent from the Paris Opera for almost 150 years, the return of this work in its original French version is an eagerly awaited event. Stage director Lydia Steier explores the themes of religious extremism and militaristic zeal: can love have any hope of surviving between these two ruthless extremes?


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