Charles Gounod

Roméo et Juliette

When Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo starred opposite each other in Manon at the Met in 2015, the New York Times said, “the temperature rises nearly to boiling every time Damrau and Grigolo are on stage together.” Now they’re back as opera’s classic lovers, in Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation. The production, by director Bartlett Sher, has already won acclaim for its vivid 18th-century milieu and stunning costumes during runs at Salzburg and La Scala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts the sumptuous score.

Production a gift of The Sybil B. Harrington Endowment Fund

A La Scala Production, initially presented by the Salzburg Festival

Read Synopsis
  • Sung In
  • French
  • Met Titles In
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Estimated Run Time
  • 3 hrs 4 mins
  • House Opens
  • Act I 75 mins
  • Intermission 30 mins
  • Act II 79 mins
  • Opera Ends
New Production Dec 31 - Mar 18 Buy Tickets from $27 Buy Gala Tickets

Cast

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World premiere: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 1867. Perhaps the most enduringly successful of the many operatic settings of the world’s consummate love story, Roméo et Juliette is an excellent example of French Romanticism, a tradition that values subtlety, sensuality, and graceful vocal delivery over showy effects. In the opera there is a slight shift of focus away from the word games of the original play and a greater focus on the two lovers, who are given four irresistible duets, including a brief final reunion in the tomb scene that does not appear in the play.

Creators

Charles Gounod (1818–1893) showed early promise as a musician and achieved commercial success with his opera Faust in 1859. Among his most famous works is a setting of the Ave Maria based on a piece by J. S. Bach. Jules Barbier (1825–1901) and Michel Carré (1821–1872) were the leading librettists of their time in France, providing the text for many other operas, including Faust for Gounod, Mignon (also from Goethe) and Hamlet for Ambroise Thomas, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Jacques Offenbach.

Production Bartlett Sher

Set Designer Michael Yeargan

Costume Designer Catherine Zuber

Lighting Designed by Jennifer Tipton

Choreographer Chase Brock

Charles Gounod

Composer

Charles Gounod

Setting

In Shakespeare’s lifetime, Italy was a land of many small city-states in constant warfare with one another, but this same country was also the cradle of the Renaissance, with its astounding explosion of art and science. The image invoked by the story’s setting in the ancient city of Verona, then, is a beautiful but dangerous world where poetry or violence might erupt at any moment. The Met’s new production moves the action to the 18th century.

Music