'Romeo and Juliet' opera celebrates Gounod anniversary

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A poster for the upcoming opera Romeo and Juliet at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. [Photo/chncpa.org]

The National Center for the Performing Arts is bringing a new theater piece to the stage from July 18 to 22 - an opera adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of French romantic composer Charles-François Gounod.

The five-act opera Roméo et Juliette is one of Gounod's masterpieces. The libretto was adapted by Jules Barbier and Michele Carra in 1867 from Shakespeare's classical play Romeo and Juliet, and debuted in Paris that April. It has become one of Gounod's most famous works.

The libretto recreates the soul of Shakespeare's renowned drama, while Gounod's romantic, melodious music adds an epic tone to the protagonists' tragic love. Exquisite arias, as well as the many duets between the protagonists, have made the theater piece a century-old classic. 

The upcoming opera is directed by Italian director Stefano Poda. French conductor Patrick Fournillier will lead the NCPA Orchestra and its chorus to reproduce the romantic spirit of French music for a broad audience. An international cast is featured, including soprano Melissa Petit as Juliette and tenor Francesco Demuro as Romeo.

If you go:

7 pm, July 18 - 22. Opera House, National Center for the Performing Arts, 2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng district. 010 -6655-0000.

Tickets: 100 -880 yuan ($15-130)

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