When the curtain rises on The Capulets and the Montagues, Romeo and Juliet are already burning with love for each other. The conflict between their families is tearing all Italy apart, and it doesn't take the death of Mercutio to set things alight. In fact, Mercutio doesn't exist. Neither does the hilarious nursemaid. Without these eccentric characters, the drama darkens: it becomes pure tragedy. It's like the same story told in a parallel universe.
When Bellini decided to set the legend of the lovers of Verona to music, his librettist Romani went back to basics, adapting not Shakespeare's play but the short story by Matteo Bandello that inspired it. But rest assured, this is still the story we know, and in The Capulets and the Montagues we find everything that makes it so special: the councils of war at dawn, the lovers' nocturnal trysts, Romeo's visit to Juliet's tomb and the fatal misunderstanding that follows...
Bellini believed in the power of melody over the human soul, and his opera shows the full extent of his talent. Although composed in just six weeks, The Capulets and the Montagues often touches on the sublime, and classic scenes such as the aria of Juliet, betrothed to Tebaldo, as she walks to the altar as if to the scaffold, are undoubtedly among the gems of bel canto.
To flee, yes: we have no other choiceThe Capulets and the Montagues
in this extreme misfortune.
We shall find a more welcoming country,
more forgiving skies wherever we go.
At the Opéra national de Lorraine, we like to invite new perspectives on works from the past: this performance marks the French debut of upcoming artist Pınar Karabulut. Over the last few seasons, the German director has won over critics with her explosively colourful world and her talent for working with powerful, complex female figures - be they major repertoire heroines or pop icons like Britney Spears.
Bellini wrote the role of Romeo for a mezzo, but the director has chose not to make her up as a man, thus transforming convention into strength. In the company of the incredible Yaritza Véliz, making her debut in Nancy, and Julie Boulianne, who triumphed in Iphigénie en Tauride, she carries off this drama of love and youth grappling with the old world.
2 h 40 with interval
5 — 85 €
in Italian, surtitles
All audiences from 11 years
Introduction to the performance
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free of charge, upon presentation of ticket).
I Capuleti e i Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues), opera in two acts
Based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
First performed at La Fenice, Venice, on 11 March 1830
Opéra national de Lorraine
Opernhaus Magdeburg, Theater St. Gallen et Opera Ballet Vlaanderen
William Le Sage
Donnie Ray Albert