Written January 24, 2013
yes it was long!! and for a person without "classical" education [meaning knowledge of the Greek and Roman culture] a lot of name dropping of obscure names. But for those for whom each nugget adds layers of meaning - a rich banquet. And, not less, the ghost of Shakespeare hovers over the action: the comic relief of two "lower class sailors" to open Act V, counterpoints the grief and hysteria, and whole rainbow of emotions that Berlioz evokes.
Looking at other productions [admittedly on YouTube], I appreciated the current Met production as "lavish", and "dynamic" with lots of crowd/chorus action. This is an opera that leans heavily on crowd scenes. The principal lead singers were stunning - believable people - way beyond the "park and bark" stereotype of bad acting in bygone decades.
I confess I did yawn a bit at the sheer length and number of dance sequences, but I also know that this was an intrinsic part of 19th century spectacle. Great show!!