Charles Francois Gounod‘s rendition of Shakespeare‘s tale of “star-cross’d lovers” will be performed at the Kravis February 24th through the 26th. It premiered at Paris’ Theatre Lyrique on April 27th, 1867 and reached the US on November 15th of that same year.
Last night, I was able to attend the live tweeting session of the final dress rehearsal. Presented by the Palm Beach Opera, the performance is directed by Kevin Newbury, sung in French with English supertitles and consists of 5 acts with two intermissions. You can catch the action on Twitter by following #pboromeo or me at @cookmixmingle.
THE PLAY: Romeo, a Montague, meets Juliet at a masquerade ball hosted by her dad, a Capulet and falls in love. Alas, this relationship can’t be, but regardless they soon wed. The ceremony was performed by friar Laurent who erroneously believed that marrying them might unite the two families.
Shortly thereafter, Romeo is banished for having killed Tybalt in an altercation (initially between Tybalt & Mercutio) and is banished. He meets up with Juliet one last time at which point they roll around making kissy faces.
Following day, her dad comes in and says she must marry Count Paris as that was Tybalt’s dying wish. She won’t have this. The friar gives her a potion to simulate death and promises her that when she wakes up Romeo will be by her side in the tomb. She twirls on stage, fearing what would happen if she awakens before Romeo makes it to the tomb and finds herself lying next to Tybalt’s recently deceased body. She freaks out a bit, grabs a dagger and contemplates killing herself instead, more twirling and panicking then she downs the potion.
Through the grapevine, Romeo hears of Juliet’s supposed death and makes his way back into town. He croons, mostly about her beauty and how cruel death is that she still be so beautiful postmortem. Unable to live without her, he downs poison. Juliet wakes up, Romeo is elated. They dream of a future together. The poison takes effect. They hold each other one last time before Juliet stabs herself, unwilling to live without him.