Gounod: Roméo et Juliette (DVD) – Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna

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Gounod: Roméo et Juliette – Film Adaptation (DVD) – Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna

Composer: Charles Gounod
Artists: Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Czech National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Kühn Mixed Choir
Conductor: Anton Guadagno
Director: Barbara Willis Sweete
Format: NTSC
Language: French
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Arthaus
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Run Time: 73 minutes

Shakespeare’s lovers never looked and sounded as good as in this romantic film adaptation of Charles Gounod’s beloved opera, Roméo et Juliette, starring one of classical music’s most popular and successful couples, Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu.

The royal gothic castle of Zvikov in the Czech Republic and its surrounding countryside provide the breathtaking setting for this timeless tale of warring families and star-crossed lovers.

Conductor Anton Guadagno leads the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra through the opera’s beautiful arias and duets in this fresh interpretation of Gounod’s masterwork.

Note: This is a film adaptation, not a filmed stage performance. All performances (except those of Alagna and Gheorghiu) are played by actors and sung by a supporting cast of singers.

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Gounod's Roméo et Juliette

Perhaps the most enduringly successful of the many operatic settings of the world’s consummate love story, Roméo et Juliette is an excellent example of French Romanticism, a tradition that values subtlety, sensuality, and graceful vocal delivery over showy effects. In the opera there is a slight shift of focus away from the word games of the original play and a greater focus on the two lovers, who are given four irresistible duets, including a brief final reunion in the tomb scene that does not appear in the play.
World premiere: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 1867.

Charles Gounod (1818–1893) showed early promise as a musician and achieved commercial success with his opera Faust in 1859. Among his most famous works is a setting of the Ave Maria based on a piece by J. S. Bach.

In Shakespeare’s lifetime, Italy was a land of many small city-states in constant warfare with one another, but this same country was also the cradle of the Renaissance, with its astounding explosion of art and science. The image invoked by the story’s setting in the ancient city of Verona, then, is a beautiful but dangerous world where poetry or violence might erupt at any moment. The Met’s new production moves the action to the 18th century.



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