Shakespeare’s love story is brought to achingly exquisite life in Vancouver Opera’s Roméo et Juliette, performing at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Lush period costumes, grand set pieces, and the 60 member Vancouver Opera Orchestra combine in a traditional production that will melt the hearts of first timers and seasoned opera goers alike.
There will only be four performances, including opening night this Saturday, November 26.
I attended a dress rehearsal last night and got a behind the scenes look at the masks, swords, and sets that make up this beautiful and timeless story. I also sat close to the stage and live tweeted throughout the evening using Vancouver Opera’s Twitter handle, as their “opera ninja”.
The sets change dimension during the three hour, two intermission production. Lighting and costumes are excellent. We have Lighting Designer Gerald King, Stage Manager Sheila Munn, Assistant Stage Director Anita Rochon and Costumes, Wig, Hair and Make-up consultant Parvin Mirhady to thank for this.
The entire set was brought in from the States and assembled in 16 hours at the Queen E.
Also impressive was the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, seated in the pit below, under the direction of conductor Jacques Lacombe.
Both leads Simone Osbourne as Juliette and tenor Gordon Gietz as Romeo were radiant. Their passion and energy added dimension and worked well with the rest of the opera singers. This is Osbourne’s début for this role. Her soprano voice has been praised by the likes of world-renowned mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. Simone is a Vancouver native.
Roméo’s Gordon Gietz is also irresistible. According to Le Monde de la Musique “[Mr. Gietz] is sexy and tender, irresistibly young; his Hoffmann is equally bewildered. Vocally, he surmounts the length of the role and its high tessitura without losing the thread of a well articulated French,” as praised for his 2005 performance in Les Contes d’Hoffman with Opéra de Marseille.
14th century Verona is brought back to life through masked balls, sword fights, love scenes, marriage and death. If you haven’t experienced Roméo et Juliette on stage, now is a great chance to enjoy this top notch production.
Roméo et Juliette
Date: November 26, 29, December 1, 3
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Georgia and Hamilton Streets
Time: 7:30 pm
Tickets: Available through the Vancouver Opera ticket office, online, or by phoning 604.683.0222.