Romeo E Giulietta

In five acts by CH. GOUNOD.

Text by BARBIER and CARRE.

This highly favored opera by Gounod presents much that is worthy of

admiration, though it does not rise to the high level of his Marguerite

(Faust). {304 The libretto follows Shakespeare's version pretty


The first act opens with the masked ball in Capuletti's palace, where

the first m
eting between the lovers takes place, Romeo being disguised

as a pilgrim. They fall in love with each other, and Tybalt, Capulet's

nephew, recognizing Romeo, reveals, but too late, their true names and

swears to take revenge on his foe, who has thus entered the Capulet's

house uninvited.

The second act represents the famous scene on the balcony between

Juliet and her lover.

In the third act Romeo visits Friar Lorenzo's cell, to get advice from

him. There he meets Juliet. Lorenzo unites the lovers, hoping hereby

to reconciliate the hostile houses of the Montagus and the Capulets.

The following scene represents the street before Capulet's palace,

where the rivals meet; there ensues the double duel, first between

Tybalt and Romeo's friend Mercutio, who falls and then between Romeo,

who burns to avenge his comrade, and Tybalt. Tybalt is killed and

Romeo is obliged to fly, all the Capulets being after him.

In the fourth act Romeo sees Juliet in her room, but when the morning

dawns he is obliged to leave, while Juliet's father comes to remind her

of his last promise to the dying Tybalt, which was to marry Juliet to

Count Paris.--

Juliet in great perplexity turns to Friar Lorenzo for help.--He gives

her a draught which will cause her to fall into a deep swoon, and

after being laid in her ancestor's tomb, she is to be awakened by Romeo

and carried away into security.

In the fifth act Romeo, after having taken poison enters the tomb to

bid farewell to Juliet, whom he by a fatal misunderstanding believes to

be dead.--She awakes, and seeing her bridegroom die before her eyes,

she stabs herself, to be united with her lover in death, if not in life.