10 Jun 2018

GOUNOD: Roméo et Juliette

From Opera On Sunday, 6:00 pm on 10 June 2018

Perhaps the most enduringly successful of the many operatic settings of the world’s greatest love story.

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera Photo: Ken Howard/MetropolitanOpera

Sunday 10 June at 6.00pm on RNZ Concert

Metropolitan Opera 2018 Season

GOUNOD: Roméo et Juliette

This opera is an excellent example of French Romanticism, a tradition that values subtlety, sensuality, and graceful vocal delivery over showy effects.

Roméo......................... Charles Castronovo

Juliette......................... Ailyn Pérez

Stéphano...................... Karine Deshayes

Mercutio...................... Joshua Hopkins

Frère Laurent............... Kwangchul Youn

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Plácido Domingo (EBU)

In Shakespeare’s lifetime, Italy was a land of many small city-states in constant warfare with one another, but this same country was also the cradle of the Renaissance, with its astounding explosion of art and science. The image invoked by the story’s setting in the ancient city of Verona, then, is a beautiful but dangerous world where poetry or violence might erupt at any moment.

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera Photo: Ken Howard/MetropolitanOpera

In the opera there is a slight shift of focus away from the word games of the original play and a greater focus on the two lovers, who are given four irresistible duets, including a brief final reunion in the tomb scene that does not appear in the play.

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera

A scene from Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera Photo: Ken Howard/MetropolitanOpera

As the curtain rises, a chorus tells of the endless feud between the Montague and Capulet families, and of the love of their children, Roméo and Juliette.

Synopsis for Roméo et Juliette

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