Gounod - Romeo et Juliette from the Met
The final Met broadcast of the season is Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Ailyn Perez and Charles Castronovo as Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Placido Domingo conducts.
The final opera in this year's Met season is Gounod's take on Romeo and Juliet. A success since its premiere in 1859, Gounod's opera follows Shakespeare's story faithfully, and includes some magnificent duets for the star-crossed lovers, sung tonight by Ailyn Pérez and Bryan Hymel. Plácido Domingo conducts.
Presented from New York by Mary Jo Heath and Ira Siff.
Gounod Roméo et Juliette
Juliette ..... Ailyn Pérez (Soprano)
Roméo ..... Charles Castronovo (Tenor)
Stéphano ..... Karine Deshayes (Soprano)
Mercutio ..... Joshua Hopkins (Baritone)
Frere Laurent ..... Kwangchul Youn (Bass)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Plácido Domingo (Conductor).
A short chorus sets the scene of the rival families in Verona.
A masked ball in the Capulets’ palace
Tybalt talks to Pâris about Juliette, who appears with her father. Roméo, Mercutio, Benvolio and their friends enter, disguised, and Mercutio sings a ballad about Queen Mab, after which Juliette sings a joyful waltz song. The first meeting between Roméo and Juliette takes place, and they fall in love. But Tybalt re-appears and suspects that the hastily re-masked Roméo is his rival. While Tybalt wants immediate revenge, Capulet orders that the ball continue.
The Capulets' garden
After Roméo's page Stephano has helped his master gain access, he reveals the two young lovers exchanging their vows of love.
Roméo and Juliette, accompanied by Gertrude, go to the cell, and the wedding takes place. Laurent hopes that reconciliation between the houses of the Montagus and the Capulets may thus take place.
A street near Capulet's palace
Stephano sings to attract the occupants into the street. Gregoire and Stephano skirmish as men from each family appear. The duel is first between Tybalt and Mercutio, who falls dead, and then between Roméo, determined to avenge his comrade, and Tybalt. Tybalt is killed by Roméo, who is banished by the Duke.
Juliet's room at dawn
Roméo and Juliette are together and, after a long duet, Roméo departs for exile. Juliette's father comes to remind her of Tybalt's dying wish for Juliette to marry Count Pâris. The friar gives Juliette a draught which will cause her to sleep, so as to appear as if dead and, after being laid in the family tomb, it is planned that Roméo will awaken her and take her away. [A ballet scene in the grand hall of the palace was inserted at this point.]
Roméo breaks into the tomb after having taken poison because he believes that Juliette is dead. When she awakes from the friar’s potion, the lovers' last duet is heard before the poison takes effect on Roméo. As her bridegroom weakens Juliette stabs herself, to be united with her lover in death.