Romeo and Juliette
Opera abridged for Young Audience
Composer: Charles Gounod | Librettist: Paul Jules Barbier & Michel Carre
Based on drama by William Shakespeare
23 April, 11AM & 3PM
24 April, 11AM & 3PM
Run time: Approx. 1 hr 15 mins with no intermission
Language: French (with Cantonese Narration) | Surtitle: Chinese / English
Romeo et Juliette is a masterpiece by the famous French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893). It is a frequently performed and popular work on the repertoires of major opera houses around the world. Director Lo King-man has rearranged the most beautiful pages of this opera into a touching sequence of scenes. Interspersed between these scenes, the author of the original drama, the great English writer William Shakespeare (1564-1616), appears as the narrator, observing the action and telling the audience this moving tragic love story in person.
In the ancient city of Verona, there live two rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues, which are both rich and powerful. They have been deadly enemies for generations and often engage in violent fighting.
Count Capulet welcomes guests to the masqued ball being held in his palace. His daughter Juliette sings a joyful waltz song. Romeo, son of the wealthy Montague, has come to the ball in disguise. He and Juliette meet for the first time and they fall in love.
After the ball, Romeo climbs into Juliette’s garden. He invokes the sun, which he compares to the beauty of Juliette. She appears on her balcony and the two lovers exchange their vows of love.
The secret wedding of the two young lovers takes place in Friar Laurence’s cell. Laurence hopes that their marriage will bring about reconciliation between the two houses.
In the street outside Capulet’s palace, Romeo’s page Stephano sings a song which provokes the anger of the Capulets’ servants. This leads to a fierce fight between the two families in which Juliet’s cousin Tybalt kills Romeo’s friend Mercutio, and Tybalt is in turn killed by Romeo, who is banished by the Duke of Verona.
Romeo spends the night in Juliette’s chamber and departs for exile at dawn. Count Capulet exerts pressure on Juliet to accept an arranged marriage to a nobleman. Friar Laurence gives Juliette a drug which will cause her to sleep so as to appear as if dead. Juliette drinks the potion and falls unconscious.
Believing Juliette dead, Romeo takes poison and then breaks into her tomb. Juliette awakes when the deadly poison begin to take effect on Romeo. Juliette stabs herself to be united with her lover in death.
Each performance consists of thirteen musical number:
- Capulet’s Ball
- Juliet’s waltz song
- Love at first sight
- Romeo’s invocation
- Balcony scene
- Friar Laurence
- Marriage vows
- Street fight
- Romeo’s banishment
- Juliet’s chamber
- The sleep potion
- Juliet’s tomb
- In death united
₍₁₎ 23/4, 11PM | ₍₂₎ 23/4, 3PM | ₍₃₎ 24/4, 11AM | ₍₄₎ 24/4, 3PM
* The Artistic Internship Scheme is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students
The Charm of Performing Arts
The arts bring to students experiences that connect life inside and outside the campus.
When textual narrative turns into live performance, lines, movements, lightings and shades on stage cast a spell of charm on the audience. This magical power created by stage performance calls for rumination and reflection, leaving the audience with sentiments of gratification when the curtain falls.
In fact, these arts groups don’t just perform. Their artists will also move downstage to share their creative process as well as the concept and structure of their works at pre/post-performance discussions and workshops, and share with participants on a wide range of topics from the history of drama to the symbolic meaning of a certain prop. These extension activities will reveal to students the flow of stage production and the many facets of performing arts.
Live performance exudes unparalleled charm in the eye of the audience, and gives artists a sense of fulfillment when they engage their audience and receive their warm applause. We believe that engaging in performing arts will bring enlightening experiences to audience and performers alike, and make them more understanding towards others and curious about life. We therefore look forward to the continuous support of principals and teachers to the Scheme. Let’s work together to enrich the arts experience of students and nurture young theatregoers.
* Since Audience Building Office (AB Office) under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)’s inception in the 2009/10 academic year, the Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students by has been providing Other Learning Experiences in Aesthetic Development under the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum and encouraging personal visits to professional performing venues as well as immersion in the arts for enrichment of learning experience.
* Acknowledgement: The Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students is supported by the Education Bureau.