NCPA production of Gounod's opera Roméo et Juliette to come soon

NCPA June/29/2018
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Gounod. On July 18th to 22nd, the NCPA opera Roméo et Juliette, produced in collaboration with conductor Patrick Fournier and stage director Stefano Poda, is set to premiere at the NCPA Opera Festival 2018. A press conference was held on the morning of June 25th, attended by among others, Vice President of the NCPA ZHAO Tiechun, Stefano Poda, and leading singers Melissa Petit, Mihaela Marcu and YU Yongzhao.

The press conference of NCPA opera Roméo et Juliette
Photo by LING Feng

In1594, Shakespeare completed Romeo et Juliette, which was then adapted into attractive orchestral works by composers such as Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev over the next hundreds of years, starting telling this story of two star-crossed lovers accompanied by musical notes. In addition to rearrangement for the orchestra, the most gripping operatic adaptation of Romeo et Juliette is none other than the one composed by French composer Gounod in 1867.

Roméo et Juliette is the first Gounod's opera produced by the NCPA. Different from the ending of the original that the two families are reconciled with each other, the separation between the lovers in death is depicted operatically to be very touching by Gounod and the librettist, building a musical image for every character and revealing the charms of the characters’ personality. Vice President of the NCPA ZHAO Tiechun said, “Over the past ten years, the NCPA has been sticking to staging world classics by a variety of artistic means, achieving a brave breakthrough in the gradual transformation of classical aesthetics to modern artistic aesthetics. The modernistic staging of the NCPA opera Roméo et Juliette will provide Chinese audiences a great opportunity to study Gounod’s operas.”

Stefano Poda employs concepts of fashion based on contemporary popular elements
Photo by LING Feng

Stefano Poda, one of the most active directors of the world opera stage, will serve as stage director, set designer, costume designer, lighting designer and choreographer of the NCPA production, to give this classic masterpiece a new vision on life in accordance with his particular personal style. His works contain a distinctive personal style and uniquely symbolic visual aesthetics that provides audiences with a wide space for a better aesthetic understanding. In terms of set design, Poda will combine the classical with the modern and the Western with the Eastern, to create classic operatic scenes such as a dancing party, garden and church, from a contemporary perspective. In terms of costume design, he will make bold use of the concepts of fashion based on contemporary popular elements.

The set design combines the classical with the modern and the Western with the Eastern

Stefano Poda set forth the overall composition of the opera: I respect the audience, and seek to elicit different thinking about the opera in them, to make them part of the opera, so that they would treat “Romeo and Juliet” from their own perspectives. This opera, which fits all people, contains all artistic forms, which are of symbolic significance. Exposed to this distant world, audience may have some doubts in mind, and think of their own family, future and past. They can even have their psychic trauma healed through meditation.

In February this year, conductor Fourniller raised his baton over the performance of Thaïs, another classic French lyric opera produced by the NCPA, and showed Chinese audiences the unique charms of lyric opera with rich colours and fine sentiments in cooperation with the China NCPA Orchestra.

The opera will star international A-list singers Melissa Petit, Mihaela Marcu, Francesco Demuro, Luca Grassi, Burak Bilgili, Alessandro Luongo, Jurgita Adamonyte, as well as Chinese skilled singers YU Yongzhao, MEI Jie, ZHANG Wenwei, ZHANG Yang, ZHANG Yuan, YUAN Lu and WANG Xin.
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NCPA Opera Roméo et Juliette

NCPA Opera Roméo et Juliette

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