Opéra de Montréal presents

Roméo & Juliette

by Charles Gounod

Romeo and Juliet fall madly in love, but the young lovers of Verona are from rival families. Their love can only survive in death.

A timeless story of passion and forbidden love… Shakespeare’s eternal drama and Gounod’s bewitching music.

Act I
The story takes place in Verona, the Renaissance; 15th Century

Capulet is giving a masked ball in his home in order to introduce his daughter Juliet to Verona’s high society. In disguise, a member of a rival family, Romeo Montaigu, along with some friends, has managed to slip in unnoticed among the guests. When Juliet appears, Romeo instantly falls in love with her. The feeling is mutual. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt recognizes Romeo, for whom he professes great hatred. Juliet’s father manages to prevent a confrontation. He allows Romeo to leave without making a scene, so as not to ruin the party.

Act II
At night, Romeo sneaks into the Capulets’ garden, where Juliet soon appears. The two declare their eternal love and plan to meet on the following day to marry.

Scene 1 — Romeo tells his friend, Friar Lawrence, of his love for Juliet and his desire to marry her. The friar agrees to marry the couple right away.

Scene 2 — Romeo’s page, Stefano, sings a mocking serenade in front of the Capulets’ home. Witnessing the insulting behaviour, Gregorio provokes a quarrel with Stefano. This results in a chain reaction of violence, as Mercutio in turn fights with Tybalt. Romeo, rushing onto the scene, tries in vain to calm things down. But he soon also gives in to the aggressive mood when Tybalt kills his friend Mercutio. When the battle is over, Tybalt falls, mortally wounded by Romeo. Only the arrival of the Duke of Verona brings the hostilities to an end. Learning what has happened, the Duke banishes Romeo.

Act IV
On their wedding night, the two newlyweds again declare their love. But the morning song of the lark brings them back to reality: they must go their separate ways. Capulet tells his daughter that she is to marry Paris that very day. Friar Lawrence advises a shattered Juliet to drink a potion that will induce a deep sleep and produce the appearance of death.

Act V
Romeo has not been made aware of Friar Lawrence’s plan. Believing Juliet to be dead, he drinks a vial of poison. Juliet awakens and the two sing of their love for each other. Learning that Romeo has just swallowed a fatal poison, Juliet stabs herself with a dagger. The lovers die, asking for divine clemency.

Language: French (French and English subtitles)

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