Roméo et Juliette
ROMEO ET JULIETTE
Roméo et Juliette is a five-act opera by Charles Gounod based on William Shakespeare's play, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. The opera was first performed at the ThéâtreLyrique, Paris on April 27 1867. Before Roméo et Juliette, Charles Gounod had composed eight operas and was performed at the Opera in 1888.
On January 20, 1873, Roméo et Juliette entered the repertoire of the Opéra-Comique, where it received around 390 performances within 14 years.
Verona, 14th century. There is a feud between two families; the Mantagues and the Capulets.
Act 1: MASKED BALL IN THE CAPULETS' PALACE
Tybalt talks about Juliette to Paris (Juliette's suitor). Juliette appears with her father. Capulet presents his daughter, revelers at the ball all exclaim at her beauty. Juliette enthuses at her joy. Capulet leads his guests off just when Romeo, a Montague, and his friends steal into the ball with the intention of provoking a fight. They are all masked. Romeo notices Juliette at a distance. Juliette waltzes around the room singing about the freedom of youth. Shyly, Romeo approaches her and asks if his hand may touch hers. Tybal returns at the instant at which Juliette tells Romeo her name. Romeo masks himself and rushes off. However, Tybalt notices him and identifies him as Montague's son. Capulet restrains him and orders the party to go on.
Act 2: THE CAPULET'S GARDEN
Later that night, Romeo stays hidden until when Mercutio and other friends stop looking for him. He apostrophizes to Juliette as the sun, the purest, and the brightest of all stars. Juliette steps forth on her balcony and laments her attraction to Romeo, who comes forward. The two pledge their love for each other, but they are interrupted by some Capulets searching for a Monatague page. Romeo and Juliette bid each other good night.
Act 3: LAURENCE'S CELL AND STREET NEAR CAPULET'S PALACE
In the Friar Laurence's cell, Romeo and Juliette are together. Getrude is with Juliette. They get married. In the meantime, Laurent hopes to see reconciliation between the houses of Montague and Capulet take place.
Near Capulet's palace, Stephano attracts occupants when he sings. Stephano and Gregoire fight as men from each family appear. Mercutio and Tybalt get killed. It is Romeo who kills Tybalt and is banished by the Duke.
Act 4: JULIETTE'S ROOM AT DAWN
Romeo is with Juliette. After a long duet, he departs for exile. Juliette's father enters and reminds her of Tybalt's dying wish of her marrying Count Paris. The friar gives Juliette a draught so as to cause her to sleep, in order to make her appear as dead. Juliette is promised that she will wake up with Romeo beside her. She takes the potion and when Capulet and others arrive to lead her to church, she collapses.
Act 5: JULIETTE'S TOMB
In Juliette's tomb, Romeo soliloquizes on his beloved Juliette. He believes she is dead and in despair, he takes poison only to see Juliette wake up. Romeo is dying and he bids farewell to Juliette. She grasps Romeo's dagger and stabs herself. They both lay there dying and praying for God's forgiveness.
Marie Caroline Miolan-Carvalho, Juliette, Soprano
Piere-Jules Michot, Romeo, Tenor.
Jean Cazaux, Laurent, Bass.
Auguste-Armand Barre, Mercutio, Baritone.
Josephine Daram, Stephano, Soprano.
Etienne Troy, Count Capulet, Bass.
Emile Wartel, The Duke, Bass.
Jules-Henri Puget, Tybalt, Tenor.