The story of Romeo and Juliet has inspired hundreds of creators, including opera composers. The majority of them were inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy. However, in this production, you should forget the English poet and dramatist.
Bellini’s opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi (with a libretto by Felice Romani) is based on the Renaissance legend which presumably inspired Shakespeare. The opera corresponds to Shakespeare’s tragedy only in the names of the main characters, the story of their love, and the case of a ‘fake death’. Premièred on 11 March 1830 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, I Capuleti e i Montecchi was Bellini’s fi rst opera written for this theatre. It was an immediate success, and became one of the most renowned stage works about Romeo and Juliet of the bel canto epoch, a lyrical narrative about love reaching a tragic conclusion.
Several years ago, the creative team of I Capuleti e i Montecchi staged the opera in the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and San Francisco Opera. The director Vincent Boussard (France) and the stage designer Vincent Lemaire (Belgium) are known to Lithuanian audiences from their elegant and impressive production of Massenet’s Manon. This time, they will team up with the conductor Robertas Šervenikas, the Music Director of the LNOBT, and Sesto Quatrini, a young and talented Italian maestro, an expert in Italian bel canto, who led Kristīne Opolais’ concert at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. The costumes for the production were designed by Christian Lacroix, the esteemed French designer, often dubbed the artist of the fashion world.
The main roles will be played by recipients of Golden Cross of the Stage awards: Eglė Šidlauskaitė (as Romeo, scored for a mezzo-soprano in this opera) and Viktorija Miškūnaitė (Juliet). The production will also introduce the young soloist Aistė Pilibavičiūtė.