Opera lovers are in for a treat in the month of love, when one of the Met’s most popular productions is shown on the big screen at Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas nationally. Catch limited screenings of the award-winning production of Charles Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation of Roméo et Juliette from Saturday, 11 February, which includes a screening at 11:30 on Valentine’s Day, 14 February.
Hailed by the New York Times for singing “with white-hot sensuality and impassioned lyricism,” Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo star as the tragic star-crossed lovers in this operatic adaption of Shakespeare’s classic love story. This new Met production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette is directed by Bartlett Sher, with Gianandrea Noseda conducting the sumptuous score.
The opera stars Diana Damrau in her debut role as Juliette, opposite Vittorio Grigolo as Roméo. The cast also includes Virginie Verrez as Stéphano, Elliot Madore as Mercutio and Mikhail Petrenko as Frère Laurent.
Sher’s staging of Roméo et Juliette is a co-production with La Scala, and was initially presented at the Salzburg Festival in 2008. It features set design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton, choreography by Chase Brock in his Met debut and fight direction by B.H. Barry.
Roméo et Juliette opened to great success in 1867, and the opera premiered at the Met in 1884, where it was sung in Italian and starred Italo Campanini as Roméo and Marcella Sembrich as Juliette. Since its Met premiere, the opera has been staged 329 times to date. Famous sopranos who have sung Juliette include Lucrezia Bori, Nellie Melba, and Anna Netrebko; notable tenors who have sung the role of Roméo include Franco Corelli, Jean de Reszke, and George Shirley.