‘La Vestale’ in Paris

This month, Elza van den Heever stars as Julia in Gaspare Spontini’s rarely-seen La Vestale at the Paris Opera. Following her successful debut in the role in 2019 at MusikTheater an der Wein, van den Heever brings her acclaimed portrayal to a new audience in this captivating masterpiece.

The opera follows the tale of Julia, a sacred vestal virgin in ancient Rome, who defies her vows by falling in love with Licinius, a renowned general. Their clandestine romance sparks a gripping clash between love and duty, ultimately resolved by a divine intervention that spares Julia from punishment and reunites the star-crossed lovers. As Lydia Steier’s new production delves into themes of political extremism, the opera takes on a renewed relevance, offering a thought-provoking exploration of love, power, and sacrifice.

Under the baton of famed conductor Bertrand de Billy, the brilliant cast includes Michael Spyres as Licinius, Eve-Maud Hubeaux as La Grand Vestale, Julien Behr as Cinna, Jean Teitgen as Le Souverain Pontife, and Florent Mbia as Le Chef des Aruspices.

The performances will occur on June 12, 15, 19, 23, 26, 29, July 2, 5, 8, and 11 at Opéra Bastille.

Photo: Jiyang Chen