On Friday, 2 March (7 pm), the Wrocław Opera will host the premiere performance of Sergei Prokofiev?s Romeo and Juliet. The new staging of the ballet will be the fifth revival of Prokofiev?s piece at the Wrocław Opera. Stories of tragic love have long been the staple of opera and ballet. The theme of the ill-fated lovers of Verona has been musically developed a number of times in the past. Prior to Prokofiev, the Shakespearian drama had been interpreted, among others, by Vincenzo Bellini in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Charles Gounod in Romeo and Juliet (both operas), or in the Russian Romantic composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky?s orchestral overture-fantasy Romeo and Juliet. Sergei Prokofiev?s ballet has since joined the classics of the genre. Musically, it is situated at the threshold of modernity, thus enabling diverse arrangements. The piece premiered shortly before the outbreak of World War II, in December 1938. The Polish premiere of the ballet adaptation of Shakespeare?s drama was only presented in May 1954 at the Warsaw State Opera.
The new staging of the ballet will be the fifth revival of Prokofiev?s piece at the Wrocław Opera. The first one premiered in 1960, choreographed by Jerzy Gogóła, under the musical direction of Kazimierz Wiłkomirski and with stage design by Zbigniew Kaja. The subsequent premieres took place in 1984, 1996, and 2010, respectively.
Romeo and Juliet has been commonly considered as a test of choreographic maturity. Eight years after its previous premiere, Prokofiev?s ballet returns to the Wrocław Opera, choreographed by the outstanding Polish dancer and choreographer Jacek Tyski, who is the Wrocław Opera?s choreographer-in-residence this season. The project will mark Tyski?s second involvement with Shakespeare?s output ? having previously choreographed Hamlet for the Polish National Ballet, he returns with a new incarnation of Shakespeare?s most famous love story.
The music director of the piece is Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski. Olga Skumiał contributed the visual concept, stage design, and lighting design. Costumes were designed by Marta Fiedler, while Piotr Maruszak developed the video projections.
The subsequent presentations of Romeo and Juliet will take place on 3,4,8 and 10 March; 27 and 29 April; and 9-10 June, 2018.
Conductor: Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski
Direction and choreography: Jacek Tyski
Stage and lighting design: Olga Skumiał
Costumes: Marta Fiedler
Multimedia: Piotr Maruszak
– The Montagues –
Romeo?s Father ? Charalampos Skoupas, Federico Zeno Bassanese
Romeo?s Mother ? Weronika Kwiatkowska, Monika Kieliba
Romeo ? Robert Kędziński, Andrzej Malinowski, Łukasz Ożga, Pablo Martinez Mendez
Mercutio ? Łukasz Ożga, Pablo Martinez Mendez
Benvolio ? Andrzej Malinowski, Won June Choi
Balthasar (Romeo?s servant) ? Pablo Martinez Mendez, Federico Zeno Bassanese
– The Capulets –
Julia?s Father ? Timothy Leonard, Daniel Agudo Gallardo
Julia?s Mother ? Natsuki Katayama, Ines Furuhashi-Huber, Magdalena Kurilec-Malinowska
Julia ? Rina Nishiuchi, Sherly Belliard, Remy Lamping
Tybalt ? Won June Choi, Robert Kędziński, Timothy Leonard
Julia?s Nurse ? Anna Szopa-Kimso
Samson, Capulet servant, Tybalt?s friend ? Piotr Bednarczyk, Arshak Gyozalyan
Gregory, Capulet servant, Tybalt?s friend ? Federico Zeno Bassanese, Won June Choi
Count Paris ? Piotr Bednarczyk, Pablo Martinez Martinez
Escalus, the Prince of Verona: Pablo Martinez Mendez, Timothy Leonard, Charalampos Skoupas
Friar Lawrence ? Daniel Agudo Gallardo, Piotr Bednarczyk, Federico Zeno Bassanese
* – guest performance