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.
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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.
“Grigolo exuded extraordinary passion, vocally and physically… Damrau traced the heroine’s emotional state exquisitely from girlish giddiness to tragic sacrifice.” – Financial Times
The exclusive backstage content and behind-the-scenes interviews during Roméo et Juliette, hosted by soprano Ailyn Pérez, include:
- Live backstage interviews with Vittorio Grigolo and Diana Damrau, who star as Romeo and Juliette
- Live interviews with Roméo et Juliette conductor Gianandrea Noseda, director Bartlett Sher, costume designer Catherine Zuber, and set designer Michael Yeargan
- Previews of the Met’s new production of Rusalka, Dvořák’s opera of love and longing, rejection and redemption, release at Cinema Nouveau on 25 March. Features include:
- A rehearsal clip of Kristine Opolais singing “Song to the Moon”
- A show-and-tell live interview with designer Mara Blumenfeld on the Rusalka costumes, in the Met Costume Shop
- GalleryMet short film: “Roméo et Juliette” (artist Rachel Feinstein)
The running time of Roméo et Juliette is approximately 3 hours 20 minutes, including an interval. Screening times at Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas are as follows: 11 February at 17:00; 12 February at 14:30; 14 and 22 February at 11:30; and 21 February at 18:00.
Now in its eleventh year, The Met: Live in HD series is screened in cinemas around the world, including exclusive releases at Nouveau and select Ster-Kinekor cinemas in South Africa. The Met’s new season presents ten opulent, full-length operas including five new productions, three of which are new to the series. The series has become a global phenomenon with more than 19 million tickets sold since its inception ten years ago.
These grand operas, filmed at the iconic Metropolitan Opera House, feature some of the world’s most talented singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers.
With these exclusive productions, Nouveau continues to give local audiences the opportunity to witness these spectacular ‘live’ opera productions broadcast on the big screen, in full digital projection, at various sites across South Africa. Past productions have received critical acclaim and gained recognition around the world.