I was at Les Troyens, the first HD I've been to in a while. It's an impressive experience, and one can see why it's a rarely undertaken one: it asks a lot of everybody onstage.

It is indeed gratifying to see how superb the chorus has become under Donald Palumbo's direction; it's quite right that he took a bow with them at the end.

At times during the Fall of Troy scenes I had a hankering for the now-discredited practice of doing the opera over two nights, because I found Deborah Voigt (who has been glorious on occasion in the past) unable to bring Cassandra to life at this time. Berlioz's vocal music depends so much on the singer shaping and sculpting it, and all she could do was sock it out in a basic way, audible but uninteresting. And the character dominates those first scenes.

But all the rest was a great pleasure. Susan Graham has the majesty and richness for Dido, and Bryan Hymel proved stunningly in command of Aeneas -- a rare circumstance with this preposterously demanding role. Bravo!