Charles Gounod

Roméo et Juliette

Darlene Marcos Shiley
Lead Production Sponsor, Roméo et Juliette

The grand and sweeping retelling of one of the most tragic love stories of all time

He's a Montague. She's a Capulet. Despite years of bloody conflict between their warring families, Roméo and Juliette fall instantly in love. Their passionate love fans the flames of hatred between the two families and drives these young lovers to their heartbreaking deaths. Experience the heady rush of rebellious first love in Gounod’s sumptuous adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy

A cast of young stars brings the operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved play to life including tenor Pene Pati as Romeo and soprano Nicole Cabell as Juliet, both in exciting Company debuts. Joining them is baritone Yunpeng Wang as Mercutio and mezzo soprano Sarah Coit as Stephano also in house debuts. San Diego Opera principal guest conductor Yves Abel brings his mastery of the French repertoire to lead the musicians for these performances and stage director Matthew Ozawa brings his unique visionary style to the stage.

Sung in French with English translations above the stage

The approximate run time is 3 hours, including one 20 minute intermission.

PRE-OPERA LECTURE: The pre-opera lecture begins at 6:40pm before the 7:30pm for evening performances. The Sunday matinee pre-opera lecture begins at 1:10pm before the 2:00pm curtain.

MAIN STAGE POST-OPERA TALK-BACKS: Stay after the performance for a Talk-Back. Once the curtain falls, there will be a 10-minute break, join us in the front of the Dress Circle section for a TALK-BACK with San Diego Opera insiders and cast members (subject to availability). Ask questions and find out what really happened during the performance.

We are grateful for the continued support of the San Diego community. If San Diego Opera is unable to perform any of our spring productions or you are unable to attend due to health constraints, we will either exchange your tickets into another spring production, keep the value of your tickets on your account available for future use as you see fit, turn the value of your tickets into a donation to SD Opera, or refund the value of your tickets to you.

Roméo et Juliette, Synopsis


A chorus laments the ongoing feud between the houses of Capulet and Montague.

Act I

In the grand hall of the Capulet palace, party guests assemble for Juliette’s debut as her cousin Tybalt and her suitor Pâris praise her beauty. Capulet presents his daughter to everyone’s delight. The crowd includes a disguised Roméo, Mercutio, Benvolio, and others associated with the Montagues. Mercutio chides his friend’s melancholy, for Roméo’s romantic pursuit of the fair Rosaline has yielded nothing—she is not at the party. The lovelorn Roméo spots Juliette, and not knowing she is a Capulet, immediately falls in love. Meanwhile, Juliette’s nurse Gertrude is excited about her charge’s potential marriage, but the young girl will have none of it, preferring a carefree life. Juliette and Roméo finally meet and she returns his affection, but their short-lived bliss is interrupted when it is revealed that the new lovers belong to rival houses. Tybalt has recognized Roméo and promises to avenge this affront to the Capulets’ honor.

Act II

The page Stéphano assists Roméo in scaling a wall outside Juliette’s rooms, where Roméo and Juliette soon share a tender moment. Grégorio and other Capulets are heard in the distance, looking for the disruptive Montagues, and Roméo hides in the darkness of the garden. After speaking with Grégorio about the intrusion, Gertrude encourages Juliette to go to bed, but the young girl tarries outside, where the two lovers are soon reunited. Juliette suggests they marry the very next day and Roméo heartily accepts her offer. ACT III Scene one - In a chapel, the monk Friar Laurence celebrates the couple’s union while Gertrude serves as a witness. – Intermission – Scene two - Out in the streets of Verona, Stéphano taunts the Capulets with a song. Mercutio defends the young boy from Grégorio’s blade, but is soon drawn into a disagreement with Tybalt. When a freshly married Roméo happens upon the scene, Tybalt turns his attention to his enemy, but Roméo merely embraces him as kin. Mercutio draws Tybalt into a duel, and in the ensuing melee, is mortally wounded. Now enraged over the death of his friend, Roméo slays Tybalt and is banished from Verona as a result. ACT IV - As day breaks, the two lovers awaken after a night of passion. Juliette pardons Roméo for the murder of her cousin, and the two languish in bed, refusing to greet the day. But Roméo must leave, and moments after his departure, Gertrude enters, followed by Capulet and Friar Laurence. Angered by recent events, Juliette’s father demands she marry Pâris immediately. Left alone with Laurence, she tearfully comes to terms with her situation, and the monk offers a cure to end her woes—a special potion that will simulate death. Once placed in the family crypt, she will revive in Roméo’s waiting arms. ACT V Having missed a letter revealing Laurent’s plan, Roméo has heard of Juliette’s “death,” and now inside the family vault, laments over her lifeless body. Wishing to join her in eternity, he empties a phial of poison, but as the toxin takes effect, Juliette begins to wake.

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