Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Met Live in HD streams ‘Romeo et Juliette’

| March 21, 2024 12:00 AM

Whitefish Theatre Co., in collaboration with the Whitefish Arts Council and the Whitefish Performing Arts Center, presents Charles Gounod’s sumptuous Shakespeare adaptation “Romeo et Juliette” as part of the 2023-2024 live streaming season of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. 

This glorious opera will be shown on Saturday, March 23 at 10:55 a.m. at the O'Shaughnessy Center. Approximate run time is 3 hours and 30 minutes, including one 30-minute intermission. Tickets are sold only at the door, which will open at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, paid by cash or check only. 

Feuding families. Forbidden love. Doomed fate. French composer Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette” is a grand and sweeping retelling of Shakespeare's story and one of the most tragic love stories of all time. The captivating saga brings it all, from Gounod's deeply romantic and soaring music to iconic love duets to heart-stopping duels. Even as fate looms above them, this classic opera will have you rooting for this young couple and their timeless story about the power of love.

In Act 1, at a masked ball at the Capulet palace in Verona, Juliette’s cousin Tybalt assures Count Pâris that Juliette, who has been promised to him, will enchant him. Capulet presents his daughter to the guests and invites them to dance. Mercutio and Romeo, a Montague, have donned masks to sneak into the ball, together with other friends. Romeo tells them about a strange dream he has had, but Mercutio dismisses it as the work of the fairy Queen Mab. Romeo watches Juliette dance and instantly falls in love with her. Juliette explains to her nurse, Gertrude, that she has no interest in marriage, but when Romeo approaches her in a quiet moment, both feel that they are meant for each other. Just as they discover each other’s identities, Tybalt happens upon them and recognizes Romeo. Capulet prevents him from attacking Romeo, who, with his friends, beats a hasty retreat.

In Act II, Romeo enters the Capulets’ garden later that night, looking for Juliette. When she steps out onto her balcony, he declares his love. Servants briefly interrupt their encounter. When they are alone once again, Juliette assures Romeo that she will be his forever. In Act III, Romeo then visits Frère Laurent in his cell and confesses his love for Juliette. Shortly thereafter, she also appears with Gertrude. Hoping that their love might reconcile their families, Frère Laurent marries them. Outside the Capulet palace, Romeo’s page, Stéphano, sings a song about a turtledove imprisoned in a nest of vultures. When this angers several of the Capulets, Mercutio comes to Stéphano’s aid, but soon Tybalt challenges him to fight. Romeo steps between them and asks Tybalt to forget about the hatred between their families. Tybalt has nothing but scorn for him, and when he kills Mercutio in their duel, Romeo stabs Tybalt to death. The Duke of Verona appears and, after partisans of both families demand justice, exiles Romeo.

In Act IV, Romeo and Juliette have spent their secret wedding night in her room. She forgives him for killing Tybalt and the newlyweds passionately declare their love as day is dawning. After Romeo has left, Capulet appears, together with Frère Laurent, and announces to his daughter that she is to marry Pâris that same day. Desperate, Juliette turns to Frère Laurent, who gives her a potion that will make her appear to be dead. He promises her as she drinks the potion that she will awaken with Romeo beside her. On the way to the chapel where her wedding to Pâris is to take place, Juliette collapses. To the guests’ horror, Capulet announces that she is dead. Finally, in Act V, Romeo arrives at the Capulets’ crypt. Discovering Juliette’s body, he believes her to be dead and drinks poison. At that moment, she awakens, and the lovers share a final dream of a future together. As Romeo grows weaker, Juliette takes a dagger from his belt and stabs herself. The lovers die praying for God’s forgiveness.

Two singers at the height of their powers—radiant soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor sensation Benjamin Bernheim—come together as the star-crossed lovers in this production, with Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to conduct one of the repertoire’s most romantic scores. Bartlett Sher’s towering staging also features baritone Will Liverman and tenor Frederick Ballentine as the archrivals Mercutio and Tybalt, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as the mischievous pageboy Stéphano, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker as Frère Laurent. An exclusive behind-the-scenes access is provided during the transmission, complete with interviews with the cast and creative team during intermission.

Food and beverage will be available for purchase during the performance. Please go to www.whitefishtheatreco.org to read about the entire Met Opera Live in HD season or call 406-862-5371 for more information.