Premiere of the production at the Mikhailovsky Theatre: December 13, 2012
Nacho Duato has staged his own version of the celebrated ballet Romeo and Juliet because he is convinced that „Sergey Prokofiev’s score is the most amazing thing that has ever been created for the ballet stage“. The choreographer follows the music, with every image, every moment expressed in dance. The dramatic story of two lovers unfolds against a background of life in an Italian city where nothing stands still, not even for a moment. Lyric scenes alternate with depictions of street festivities in a commedia dell’arte style, rudely interrupted by the skirmishes between the warring clans. In Duato’s production, the set design is by Jaffar Chalabi, the lighting by Brad Fields, and the costumes by Angelina Atlagić.
The market place, Verona. Romeo, son of Montague, tries unsuccessfully to declare his love for Rosaline and is consoled by his friends Mercutio and Benvolio. As day breaks and the townspeople meet in the market, a quarrel develops between Tybalt, a nephew of Capulet, and Romeo and his friends. The Capulets and Montagues are sworn enemies, and a fight soon begins. The Prince of Verona commands the families to end their feud.Juliet’s anteroom in the Capulet house. Juliet, playing with her nurse, is interrupted by her parents, Lord and Lady Capulet. They present her to Paris, a wealthy young nobleman who has asked for her hand in marriage. The Ballroom. Romeo and his friends arrive at the height of the festivities. The guests watch Juliet dance; Mercutio, seeing that Romeo is entranced by her, decides to distract attention from him. Tybalt recognizes Romeo. Juliet’s balcony. Unable to sleep, Juliet comes out onto her balcony and is thinking of Romeo, when suddenly he appears in the garden. They confess their love for each other.
The market place. Romeo can think only of Juliet, and, as a wedding procession passes, he dreams of the day when he will marry her. In the meantime, Juliet’s nurse pushes her way through the crowds in search of Romeo to give him a letter from Juliet. He reads that Juliet has consented to be his wife. The chapel. The lovers are secretly married by Friar Laurence, who hopes that their union will end the strife between the Montagues and Capulets. The market place. Interrupting the revelry, Tybalt fights with Mercutio and kills him. Romeo avenges the death of his friend and is exiled. The bedroom. At dawn the next morning, the household is stirring, and Romeo must go. He embraces Juliet and leaves as her parents enter with Paris. Juliet refuses to marry Paris, and, hurt by her rebuff, he leaves. Juliet’s parents are angry and threaten to disown her. Juliet rushes to see Friar Laurence. The bedroom. That evening, Juliet agrees to marry Paris, but the next morning, when the Nurse finds her apparently lifeless on the bed. The Capulet family crypt. Romeo returns to Verona stunned by grief at the news of Juliet’s death. He enters the crypt and, finding Paris by Juliet’s body, kills him. Believing Juliet to be dead, Romeo drinks a vial of poison. Juliet awakes and, finding Romeo dead, stabs herself.