Roméo et Juliette
Composed by Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
- Sung in French
- ESTIMATED RUN TIME 2 HRS 56 MINS
- front page photo credit: Ken Howard/ Met Opera
World premiere: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 1867. Perhaps the most enduringly successful of the many operatic settings of the world’s consummate love story, Roméo et Juliette is an excellent example of French Romanticism, a tradition that values subtlety, sensuality, and graceful vocal delivery over showy effects. 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.
When Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo starred opposite each other in Manon at the Met in 2015, the New York Times said, “the temperature rises nearly to boiling every time Damrau and Grigolo are on stage together.” Now they’re back as opera’s classic lovers, in Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation. The production, by director Bartlett Sher, has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the sumptuous score.
CONDUCTOR Gianandrea Noseda
JULIETTE Diana Damrau
STÉPHANO Virginie Verrez
ROMÉO Vittorio Grigolo
MERCUTIO Elliot Madore
FRÈRE LAURENT Mikhail Petrenko