Romeo and Juliet, Gounod – Opera

Charles Mackerras, Nicolas Joel – Roberto Alagna (Romeo), Leontina Vaduva (Juliet), François Le Roux (Mercutio) – Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Charles-François Gounod's musical rendition of the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet is here directed for stage by Nicolas Joel, starring Roberto Alagna and Leontina Vaduva.

Gounod directly adapted his lyrical opera from William Shakespeare's play; the librettists thus remained very close to several characteristics of the play, such as Mercutio's famous "Queen Mab" speech and the balcony scene. After the warlike overture which illustrates the rivalry between the two families, the chorus tells the unavoidable tragedy:

"Verona, saw of old, two rival families:
The Montagues, the Capulets.
From their endless wars, to both of them fatal
Shed blood on the threshold of their palaces.
Like a vermilion ray shines in a stormy sky
Juliette appeared, and Roméo loved her."

The four duets between the two lovers express this sudden and passionate love and are among the most beautiful pieces of late French romanticism.

With this production, the young Roberto Alagna is propelled on the forefront of the international scene. Known as a reference interpreter of Romeo, he will go back to this role on numerous stages and on records. Together with Leontina Vaduva, they perfectly personify the dreamy and impassioned lovers.

Nicolas Joel stage director
Carlo Tommasi set designer
Bruno Boyer lighting


Roberto Alagna (Romeo)
Leontina Vaduva (Juliette)
Richard Halton (Paris)
Paul Charles Clarke (Tybalt)
Peter Sidhom (Count Capulet)
Sarah Walker (Gertrude)
François Le Roux (Mercutio)
Jeremy White (Gregorio)
Anna Maria Panzarella (Stéphano)
Robert Lloyd (Friar Lawrence)
David Wilson-Johnson (Duke of Verona)


Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Charles Mackerras musical direction
Royal Opera Chorus
Terry Edwards chorus director

Movie director : Brian Large
Playlist : Love songs
Music genres : Voice, Music with choir

Duration : 02 h 55 min
Location : Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London, Great Britain)
Production date : 1994
Production : © BBC; Covent Garden Pioneet FSP Limited; Royal Opera House Covent Garden Limited
Available version(s) : FR ST EN



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