While a dazzling ball is raising spirits indoors, Romeo and Juliet meet on the fringes of the action – and immediately know what is not supposed to happen: this is love at first sight, their first and only true love. Because they belong to families who are deadly enemies and Juliet is supposed to marry Paris in the morning. While Romeo and Juliet’s love is immortal, it is also forbidden. A fantasy of redemption instantly turns into a summer night’s nightmare. Fate takes its tragic course and the most famous lovers in the world no longer have a chance in this life.
In his setting of William Shakespeare’s tragedy from 1943, the German-Baltic composer Boris Blacher (1903-1975) created a chamber opera that is a small miracle of economy. He concentrated and condensed the original down to its essence: the fate of Romeo and Juliet. It remains very close to the tormented lovers and illuminates their emotions in lucid music. Here a considerable role is played by rhythmically and harmonically eccentric chorus of soloists whose range of voices bed down the narrative and humorous, lively chansons drenched in loss that repeatedly appear like monoliths to break up and comment on the failure of this great love.
The director Manuel Schmitt, who has already directed at the Bayerische Staatsoper’s Opera Festival, Staatstheater Nürnberg, Theater Trier and the Musiktheater im Revier, will create his first production for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein with ‘Romeo und Julia’.
Chamber Opera in three parts, freely adapted after Shakespeare (1943)
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