Jules Barbier, Michel Carré
Musical preparation: Marco Guidarini
Conductor: Richard Hein
Stage director: Sláva Daubnerová
Sets: Juraj Kuchárek
Costumes: Martin Kotúček
Motion cooperation: Stanislava Vlčeková
Lighting design: Daniel Tesař
Video: Lukáš Kodoň
Chorus master: Adolf Melichar
Dramaturgy: Jitka Slavíková
State Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Premiéres: April 21 and 23, 2016
In his youth, the French composer Charles Gounod (1818–1893) said that “one can only make a successful musical career by composing operas”. Of the 13 operas he wrote, two went on to gain global recognition: Faust and Roméo et Juliette. Since its premiere at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on 27 April 1867, Gounod’s setting of the immortal story of the Verona lovers has enjoyed ever-increasing popularity. For the very first time in the history of opera, four duets of the main protagonists instead of the conventional two love duets occur: their first encounter at the Capulets’ ball, the balcony scene, Roméo and Juliette’s wedding night, and the death scene. The literature on Gounod’s love songs often contains a statement along the lines that the score of Roméo et Juliette is nothing but a “now and then interrupted love duet.” Owing to Bedřich Smetana, a great champion of Gounod’s music, Roméo et Juliette got to Prague merely two years after its world premiere, and its Czech staging at the New Town Theatre, with Smetana conducting, was the very first in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The National Theatre first presented the opera on 6 January 1886. Our most recent production (1994–2000) was created by the Slovak director Jozef Bednárik. The new production at the State Opera was prepared by the eminent Italian conductor Marco Guidarini and the Slovak director Sláva Daubnerová, who recently dazzled the Prague audience with her treatment of Shostakovich’s Orango and Antiformalist Rayok.
The opera is sung in French. Czech and English subtitles
Approximate running time, including intermissions: 3 hours, 10 minutes, one 20-minute intermission.