7.9/10
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Gounod's Romeo et Juliette 

Gounod follows Shakespeare's story closely, with minor alterations to satisfy the needs of opera. The stage and scenery are filled with astronomical symbols to depict the tragedy of "star-crossed lovers" from two warring houses in Verona.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
... Juliette, a Capulet
Roberto Alagna ... Roméo, a Montague
Nathan Gunn ... Mercutio, Roméo's friend
Isabel Leonard ... Stéphano, Roméo's page
Robert Lloyd ... Frère Laurent, a priest
Marc Heller ... Tybalt
Louis Otey ... Pâris
Charles Taylor ... Capulet
Jane Bunnell ... Gertrude
Tony Stevenson ... Benvolio
David Won ... Grégorio
Dean Peterson ... The Duke of Verona
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Metropolitan Opera Ballet ... Villagers
... Herself - Lucia from first night gala 'Lucia di Lammermoor'
... Himself - Conducted by
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Storyline

Gounod follows Shakespeare's story closely, with minor alterations to satisfy the needs of opera. The stage and scenery are filled with astronomical symbols to depict the tragedy of "star-crossed lovers" from two warring houses in Verona.

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Genres:

Musical

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Release Date:

15 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gounod: Roméo et Juliette  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
It was the nightingale and not the lark
23 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

This opera is based on my least-favourite Shakespeare play. I have always struggled to empathise with these two teenage lovers who fail to synchronise their suicide attempts. Gounod wrote some sumptuous music for this opera but it failed to hold my attention on account of the silly plot; this despite the glamorous coupling of Anna Netrebko as Juliette and Roberto Alagna as Romeo. Alagna, apparently was standing in for an indisposed Rolando Villazón but it is one of his signature roles and his light tenor is perfectly suited to the role. I was not so convinced by Anna Netrebko's performance. Her creamy soprano is possibly a little bit too heavy for Gounod's light confection. She does, however, come into her own during the scene where she takes poison which comes closest to the bel canto mad scenes that she does so well.

This is a sumptuous production from the Met. I particularly enjoyed the Busby Berkley homage with dancers filmed from above on a revolving stage. This is topped by the love duet, with the two principals suspended above the stage on a silken bed. Alagna and Netrebko make an attractive couple. I noticed that they were both wearing passion-killers under their nighties, possibly at the insistence of Angela Gheorghiu and Erwin Schrott.


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