Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Shakespeare Day!

Shakespeare's traditional birth (and death) date is April 23.  Celebrate by watching a Shakespeare-based (or is it?) opera right here at BU.
Roméo et Juliette was written by French composer Charles Gounod and first performed in Paris in 1867. Gounod’s tale of the star-crossed lovers differs from the Shakespeare tragedy that inspired it in several respects. “The way it flows is so different from what Shakespeare wrote,” says scenic designer Christopher Dills (CFA’12). “The political overtones of the rival families are practically gone.” The biggest difference can be seen at the end of the opera, according to Daniels, a CFA associate professor. In Shakespeare’s telling, the doomed lovers never get to say their final good-byes. “The way Gounod works it out,” Daniels says, “there’s a big duet to end the story, and it’s tragic and beautiful.”
A nice reminder of the themes of our Global Shakespeares class.
“We like to joke that this is a French opera based on a story by an English guy about a bunch of Italian people,” says Dills.
Roméo et Juliette runs April 21, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m., and April 24 at 2 p.m., at the Boston University Theatre mainstage, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for BU alumni, WGBH members, Huntington Theatre Company subscribers, students, and senior citizens; the BU community receives one free ticket with BU ID at the door on the day of the performance, subject to availability.

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