Signed Photo: Ruth Ann Swensen & Richard Leech in “Roméo et Juliette”
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Signed Photo: Ruth Ann Swensen & Richard Leech in Roméo et Juliette
Autographed black and white photo of star American soprano Ruth Ann Swensen and star American tenor Richard Leech as the title couple in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
- Black and white
- 8” W x 10” H
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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