Art

A (Rekindled) Love Story: The Met Opera Presents Roméo et Juliette

by Wendy Sy
Monday, January 9, 2017
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We all know how the classic love story goes, but the Metropolitan Opera has shaken up Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with an intrepid cast and expressive music.

The new production of Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette opened at the Opera’s 2017 New Year’s Eve Gala and will be transmitted worldwide on January 21 as part of the institution's Live in HD series shown in movie theatres. It is a co-production with Milanese opera house La Scala, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Bartlett Sher.

Seasoned opera singers Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo and German soprano Diana Damrau fill the starring roles of Romeo and Juliette.

“There’s an exuberance that goes into this couple who can’t seem to stay away from each other. You need this sense of danger and taking risks that the culture is not really prepared for,” says Sher. “They would do anything—that becomes a revolutionary gesture throughout the piece and those are two singers that are capable of revolutionary gestures,” he says of Grigolo and Damrau.

Additional cast members who hit the stage included Virginie Verrez as Stéphano, Elliot Madore as Mercutio, and Mikhail Petrenko as Frère Laurent.

Following the performance was a dinner and dance with the artists on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier. Attendees of the black tie event included gala chairman Mistook Doolittle, the Met Opera’s president and chief executive officer Judith-Ann Corrente, chairman of the board of directors Ann Ziff, managing director Jerry del Missier and Jane del Missier, general manager Peter Gelb and Keri-Lynn Wilson.

On later performances, Amanda Woodbury will sing in the role of Juliette on January 25. Beginning on March 3, Emmanuel Villaume will conduct, Pretty Yende and Stephen Costello are slated to star in the title roles, with Paula Murrihy as Stéphano, Yunpeng Wang as Mercutio, and Matthew Rose as Frère Laurent.

Hopeless romantics, this one’s for you.

Roméo et Juliette will be shown at the Met Opera until March 18. For tickets, visit metopera.org.
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