Roméo et Juliette: Baltimore Opera Company Presents Gounod's Opera
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The last date listed for Roméo et Juliette was Friday April 4, 2008 / 8:15pm.
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One of the creative minds behind some of the most enduring hits of the '60s, '70s and beyond, R&B superstar Valerie Simpson returns to the stage at The Blue Dolphin. Simpson, along with her husband and longtime musical partner, the late Nicholas Ashford, found success penning a string of chart-topping R&B and pop songs, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "I'm Every Woman," as well as writing and performing their 1984 hit single "Solid (As a Rock)." Simpson recently returned to the music scene following the death of her husband, and released her first solo album in several decades, Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again. Learn More
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Music by Charles Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
_Roméo et Juliette _
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
Sung in French with English Surtitles
The beauty and poignancy of the world’s most famous love story is underscored by the lush and stylish composition of Gounod. Based on Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet, this adaptation includes everything you could ask for in an opera – feuding families, disguises, illicit romance, a ballet, duels, poison, and of course, a sleeping potion.
Gounod composed this opera at the height of his career and it is said that the love duets capture both the sentimentality of his own era and the drama of Shakespeare’s original. From the turbulent prelude that captures the intensity of the feud between the Capulets and Montagues, to Romeo’s tender farewell, Gounod’s music hovers “between mysticism and voluptuousness.”
The role of Juliette will be sung by Korean soprano Youngok Shin who has been a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera for over 10 seasons where she has performed the roles of Gilda in Rigoletto, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera and Elvira in I Puritani. Stephen Costello is rapidly establishing himself as one of the tenors to watch after impressive debuts with the Dallas Opera, Teatro Reggio in Torino, Opera Orchestra of New York and the Opéra National de Bordeaux. Daniel Mobbs made his BOC debut in the 1997 production of Roméo et Juliette. He has since returned to the BOC in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola and Lakmé. American bass Kevin Langan, whose vast repertoire includes the Early Baroque period through the 20th century, makes his BOC debut following recent appearances at Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan. Marcus McConico, an alumnus of the Baltimore Opera Studio and interpreter of the role of Alfredo in the BOC’s 2005 La Traviata, returns to the Lyric stage as Tybalt. Maestro Steven White returns to the Lyric podium where he displayed a sensitive and lyrical conducting style while leading I Puritani, La Sonnambula and L’Assedio di Corinto.
The production will be directed by Bernard Uzan noted stage director, designer, producer and former General and Artistic Director of L’Opera de Montreal.
About the Ticket Supplier: Baltimore Opera Company***Baltimore Opera closed in March 2009***
The Baltimore area's first operatic performance took place in 1752 when a touring company presented The Beggar's Opera, followed a few years later by the American premier of Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona. During the 19th century traveling opera companies made Baltimore a regular stop on the itinerary, giving the city its first performances of works such as Faust, La Sonnambula, and Norma featuring divas such as Clara Kellogg, Marcella Sembrich and "The Swedish Nightingale" herself, Jenny Lind, who was exuberantly feted from her hotel window on Howard Street.
"Imported" opera thus became a Baltimore staple, until the Martinet School of Opera was founded in 1924, performing at the Maryland Casualty Auditorium on West 40th Street (now the Rotunda Shopping Center). This organization evolved into the Baltimore Civic Opera Company, incorporated in 1950 with the great American diva, Rosa Ponselle, as Artistic Director. It was this organization that became the present Baltimore Opera Company.
From the early performance of The Beggar's Opera, to Rosa Ponselle's Aïda in the Maryland Casualty Auditorium, to the spectacular new American opera Dead Man Walking, opera in Baltimore continues to thrive.