Hugo Shirley

Terry Gilliam turns to eye-watering excess for his staging of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini

It makes for a viable evening’s entertainment but it’s all a bit tiring

The busyness of it all is tiring: it feels like not just one West End musical, but several crammed together on to the same stage [Getty Images/Shutterstock/iStock/Alamy]

Operas about artists are not rare. However — perhaps for obvious reasons — those artists tend to be musicians, singers, or at least performers, able to persuade and cajole both us in the audience and the other characters on stage through their eloquence. Berlioz, in his first opera, presents the renaissance sculptor Benvenuto Cellini, in an episode loosely adapted from his autobiography.

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