Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Orchestra: Symphony orchestra of the Summer Ballet Seasons
Classical Ballet in 2 acts
World premiere: 11 January 1940, Kirov Theatre, Leningrad, USSR
Choreography fantasy in 3 parts based on W.Shakespear’s tragedy and script by S.Prokofiev
The ballet-masters had been dreaming of staging “Romeo and Juliet” for a long time. They were interested in everything – both wonderful and pure love of the young heroes and picturesque Renaissance Venus, as well as comical servants’ characters. They called their performance a choreography fantasy. It is a peculiar theatre fresco – large and lyrical, passionate and delicate. It revives the unforgettable images, created by Renaissance masters in our memory. The choreography of the ballet also follows classical traditions, using some Italian nuisances.
The summary of the ballet
Romeo Montekki, young person from Verona, is fallen in love with the excellent lady Rosaline that, however, does not prevent him from participating in merry tricks of his friends Mercutio and Benvolio, or in street skirmishes between the representatives of two quarrelling families - Montekki and Capulet. This hostility has already taken away dozens of lives. So, one more fight takes place early in the morning, beginning with servants’ arguments. The Duke of Verona tries to make peace between the heads of the two quarrelling families, but in vain… He announces that from now on all the guilty will pay their lives for any bloodshed.
In the Capulet’s house the nurse tries to wake up her favourite. Juliette is naughty and doesn’t listen to her. Parents enter the room. Signor and Signora Capulet remind the girls, that she is old enough to meet her groom at today’s ball. He is Count Paris.
Dames and knights are dancing at the ball. Romeo and his friends are also here. Secretly. But having seen each other incidentally in the hall, Romeo and Juliette understand that they have fallen in love at first sight.
Tibalt is quite an aggressive person. He is Juliette’s cousin and he recognizes in Romeo a member of the enemy family.
Romeo and Juliette meet at night and talk about their love.
During the carnival Juliette and Romeo agree about a secret wedding. The nurse is on their side. They ask monk Lorenzo to help them. He marries them in hope that Romeo and Juliette’s unit will put an end to that deathly feud.
Tibalt and Mercutio face each other among carnival crowd. They are determined to use any chance for a quarrel that ends up with a fight on swards. Romeo tries to calm them down, but in vain. Tibalt wounds Mercutio from under Romeo’s hand. The wound is dangerous. The crown cries for their favourite Mercutio. Romeo runs after Tibalt to take revenge for his friend and kills him after a long and difficult fight. Juliette hears the noise and runs out. She sees her cousin dying. Lorenzo takes Romeo with him to save from the Duke’s fury.
At the dawn next day Romeo says farewell to Juliette and leaves Verona. Juliette’s parents can’t make the girl marry Paris. Lorenzo suggests her plan. Juliette will have some drink that will put her to a sleep that looks like death. Meanwhile Lorenzo will let Romeo know about it. He will get into Capulet’s family vault by the moment of Juliette’s awaking and will take the girl from Verona for ever. Juliette agrees to marry Paris and drinks the medicine.
Merry arrangements to the wedding are interrupted by the nurse’s pitiful cries. She has found dead Juliette. The funeral moves to the vault. But the news about Juliette’s death gets to Romeo earlier, than news from Lorenzo. Romeo gets into the vault, says farewell to Juliette and commits suicide himself. Juliette wakes up and sees his breathless body. She sees no sense in living without her beloved. She throws Romeo’s sharp knife in her heart.
Only over their children’s bodies the heads of Montekki and Capulet forget about their bloody quarrel.
A Square in Verona.
Brawl between the Montagues and Capulets.
A masked Romeo and Mercutio are on their way to the ball at the Capulets.
Juliet’s Room. Preparations for the ball.
Ball at the Capulets.
The Capulets’ Garden.
First Meeting between Romeo and Juliet.
A Square in Verona. Carnival.
Meeting between Mercutio and Tybalt.
Friar Lawrence marries Romeo and Juliet in secret.
A Square in Verona.
Quarrel, ending in a duel, between Mercutio and Tybalt.
Death of Mercutio.
Romeo’s revenge and Tybalt’s death
Lament for the Dead.
The Lovers meet prior to their separation.
Paris woos Juliet.
Romeo’s despair in banishment.
Friar Lawrence gives Juliet an opiate.
Paris woos Juliet.
Juliet drinks the opiate.
The house of the Capulets.
Paris’ morning Serenade.
News of Juliet’s fictitious death.
The sad news puts an end to the wedding preparations.
The Capulet Vault Romeo’s despair.
Romeo bids farewell to Juliet.
Death of the Lovers
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