Romeo and Juliet | Ballet

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October 2020
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SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1
It is early one morning. Romeo, dreaming of love, wanders through the deserted streets of Verona. Little by little, all sorts of people fill the square and the first customers arrive at the inn.
Tybalt, noticeably drunk, is on his way home. He sees Benvolio and, drawing his sword, attacks him immediately. The peaceful square turns into a scene of fierce fighting between the supporters of the Montague and Capulet households. Swords cross, people are killed and the alarm is sounded. 
Paris, a young nobleman, appears. He has come to ask for the hand of Juliet, the beautiful daughter of Old Capulet. Nobody heeds him. Old Capulet himself is seen running out of his house, eager to play a part in the encounter with the Montagues. 
The Duke of Verona and his guards appear in the square. The people implore him to put a stop to the bloodshed. The Duke commands them to drop their weapons, and issues a decree stating that anyone who bares arms in the streets of Verona will be sentenced to death.

Scene 2
Juliet playfully teases her old nurse, who is helping her dress for the imminent ball. Juliet’s mother enters and scolds her daughter for her childishness.

Scene 3
Guests pass in a ceremonious parade to the ball at the Capulets’ house. Paris is amongst them, accompanied by his page. Romeo’s friends, the witty Mercutio and the loyal Benvolio, persuade
him to go to the ball with them. The young men put on masks; without them they cannot go to the feast because of the feud between the two families.

Scene 4
Romeo and his friends enter the Capulets’ palace. Romeo is captivated by Juliet’s beauty and cannot conceal his emotions. By accident, his mask slips, revealing his face to Juliet. She falls in love with the youth. 
Tybalt recognises Romeo as an enemy of the Capulets and hurries off to tell Old Capulet that Romeo has dared to come to the ball. Romeo and his friends leave the house to avoid trouble.

Scene 5
On a moonlit balcony of the Capulets’ house, Juliet dreams of seeing Romeo again. 
Her dream comes true as Romeo appears in the garden below. He stretches out his arms to her in an expression of love. A moment later, they are together. They tenderly declare their love and vow eternal fidelity to each other. 

Act II
Scene 6
In the noisy gaiety of the square in Verona, Juliet’s nurse hands Romeo a letter from her young mistress. Romeo reads it with delight, for Juliet has agreed to be his wife.

Scene 7
Friar Lawrence is happily passing the day in his quiet cell. Romeo enters and begs the monk to wed him to Juliet in secret. The friar promises to help, hoping that the marriage will reconcile the Montagues and the Capulets and thus end the feud. Juliet enters and Friar Lawrence performs the wedding rites.

Scene 8
Mercutio, Benvolio and their friends have come to the inn. Tybalt enters and, upon seeing his enemies, he draws his sword and rushes at Mercutio. Romeo tries to make peace between them. Tybalt pushes him away. Tybalt and Mercutio cross swords. Romeo again attempts to separate them, but Tybalt, seizing a favourable moment, deals Mercutio a treacherous blow and kills him. 
Romeo is wild with fury at the death of his friend. He draws his sword and challenges Tybalt to a duel. Tybalt is killed. Benvolio, frightened, points to the decree posted by the Duke of Verona and leads his friend away. Tybalt’s kinsmen gather round his dead body and swear vengeance on the House of Montague.

Act III
Scene 9
Romeo has come to bid farewell to Juliet. He is ready to flee Verona, having violated the Duke’s decree. As the rays of the morning sun stream into the room, Romeo takes leave of his beloved. The nurse comforts Juliet, who is heart-broken at her separation from Romeo. Juliet’s parents enter the room, and her mother tells her that her marriage to Paris has been arranged. Paris, who has also come in, declares his love for Juliet; she listens to his passionate avowals, but refuses
to comply with her parents’ wish. When Paris has left the room, they shower her with reproaches. Her father says firmly that he is determined to have his way. 
Juliet is in despair. She makes up her mind to go to Friar Lawrence for advice.

Scene 10
Juliet comes to Friar Lawrence’s cell. The monk is touched by the tale of her boundless love for Romeo and gives her a potion. His plan is that she will drink the potion and fall into a deep sleep. She will be thought dead, and her body will be taken to the family vault – in an open coffin according to the ancient custom of the country. Meanwhile, Friar Lawrence will write to Romeo who is hiding in Mantua and summon him back to Verona. The young man will return at once. 
Juliet will have awoken by that time and Romeo will take her away with him back to Mantua.

Scene 11
When Juliet returns home, she pretends to have submitted to her parents’ will. She takes the potion and falls into a deep sleep. Juliet’s friends come in with bunches of flowers and, unable to find her, believe her to be still asleep. Her parents enter, accompanied by Paris. The nurse draws
the curtains of Juliet’s bed aside. All are paralysed with horror – Juliet lies lifeless on her couch.

Scene 12
Mantua. It is night. Romeo is alone, lost in gloomy thoughts. He has had no news from Juliet. Friar Lawrence’s messenger has not arrived. Benvolio, who has just come from Verona, rushes to Romeo and tells him of Juliet’s death. Romeo hurries back to Verona.

Scene 13
At the cemetery in Verona, the mourners, sad and silent, take their last farewell of Juliet and depart. Romeo enters the vault. He cannot take his eyes off his beloved; she is dead, and life no longer has any meaning for him. Romeo swallows some poison and falls dead at her feet. Juliet wakes up to see Romeo dead. Snatching his dagger, she stabs herself. 
The people assembled at the cemetery watch as Old Montague and Old Capulet gaze sorrowfully at the bodies of their dead children. In silence, they stretch out their hands to each other. 
The tragic death of the two lovers was the price to pay to end their long and bloody feud.

Program and cast

Performers


Conductor:Vladislav Karklin

Juliet: Olesya Novikova
Tybalt: Yuri Smekalov
Romeo: Timur Askerov
Mercutio: Vasily Tkachenko
Jester: Vladislav Shumakov
Juliet’s companion: Chloe Reveillon
Troubadour: Yevgeny Konovalov


Credits


Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto by Andrian Piotrovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Radlov and Leonid Lavrovsky, based on the tragedy by William Shakespeare
Choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky
Set and costume design by Pyotr Williams


Lighting Adaptation for the Mariinsky II by Andrei Ponizovsky and Yegor Kartashov

Photo gallery

Mariinsky-2

The building, covering 79114 m2, will be one of the largest theatre and concert venues in the world. The auditorium will seat up to 2000 people at full capacity. There new theatre has seven storeys above ground and three below. There is the main stage, a rehearsal stage and backstage premises; rehearsal rooms for the ballet company, the opera company and the orchestra; premises for 1000 various members of staff; chamber premises in the foyer which can house educational projects for children and young people; a rooftop amphitheatre which is to be a venue for the Stars of the White Nights festival; and underground car parking for staff. 


Alongside the historic building of the Mariinsky Theatre, built in 1860, and the Concert Hall which opened in 2006, the Mariinsky II will form part of this theatre and concert complex, unique in its artistic and educational capabilities. This complex will reiterate the status of the Mariinsky Theatre as one of the world’s most important cultural institutions.

 

Exterior 
The exterior of the building is made of beige Jura limestone, interspersed with syncopated floor-to-ceiling windows of various sizes, and a metal roof. These windows will afford, from outside, a view of the theatre’s inner foyer and, from the inside, of the Kryukov canal. A glass and steel canopy extends over the main entrance to the theatre (the corner of Dekabristov St and the Kryukov Canal). 
A rooftop terrace and amphitheatre will offer breathtaking vistas of the entire city. In warmer months there will also be concerts of chamber music here.

Foyer 
The main foyer, with its two levels, features rear-lit onyx stone walls that surround the auditorium and Emperador marble floors. Jura beige limestone walls frame the various windows that look onto Dekabristov Street and the Kryukov canal. Thanks to the surrounding glass façade, the foyer will be illuminated during the day by an abundance of natural light. For evening performances, custom-designed Swarovski chandeliers will illuminate the space. The main foyer provides unique views of the Mariinsky Theatre across the canal. 
Public areas have been designed as an integral and complementary component of the building and create a sense of dramatic arrival and fluid movement. A variety of staircases thread through the foyer, including a dramatic 33-metre architectural glass staircase that traverses the north side of the foyer, connecting every above-ground level of the building. The foyer is split into several individual spaces of various sizes. 
The lobby amphitheatre, located on the 3rd floor, will serve as an additional space for educational projects, interactive programmes for children and young people, chamber music concerts and artistic exhibitions.

Auditorium 
While the auditorium is a contemporary hall, its principles are those of famous 18th and 19th century opera houses, with a horseshoe shape and three balcony levels. This configuration has proved to be ideal for intimacy, acoustics, sightlines, audience comfort and overall cohesion of the hall. 
The sculptured beech balcony fronts are shaped by acoustical demands. The use of three balconies instead of four allows for more height between levels and creates better sound dispersion, especially for the rows located farther back.

The production lighting meets the latest demands of artistic productions while Swarovski accent lights are studded in the balcony fronts and are designed to give sparkle to the hall, as small candelabras once did in old theatres. 
Carefully selected with acoustic considerations in mind, the floors of the auditorium are oak parquet on a wooden substructure with gypsum perimeter walls and ceilings. 
Auditorium seats are fabricated by Estel Group in Italy. The fabric was manufactured by Danish Art Weaving. 
The VIP box contains beech wood balcony fronts, leather walls and a Swarovski chandelier.

Stage 
The new hall will have a main stage and a rehearsal stage, along with ample supporting areas divided by acoustic doors and curtains. The three stage areas can merge to become a single stage or be used independently, depending on the scale and technical requirements of the performance.

Stage Equipment 
The stage machinery selected for the new theatre means that it will be utterly unique. The theatre can offer an essentially endless series of performances, rehearsals and installations of productions. The stage machinery has been designed and installed specifically to ensure this endless working process as well as the greatest possible functionality. 
When developing the concept of the stage space, the most exemplary contemporary analogies were used, as have been the best practices of recently built or recently renovated theatres throughout the world. The reconstruction practices and greatest technical solutions at London’s Royal Opera House, Copenhagen’s Royal Opera, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet and many other theatres have been employed. 
The stage space has been broken down into individual zones, each of which fulfils its own strictly defined function. This includes the main stage, backstage, the side pockets, the rehearsal stage, the installation zone and the loading and unloading zone with its component assembly area. This division of space makes it possible to have the sets for at least four productions in the stage area at the same time. Moreover, at the same time, the main stage can be hosting the most technically demanding production in terms of sets, the rehearsal stage a full-scale rehearsal, the sets for the next performance can be assembled in the installation zone and other sets loaded or unloaded in the cargo dock. 
The stage is equipped with a system of rolling platforms and compensators, rising and falling platforms and fixed point hoists. All machinery elements are automated and are used via a control panel. This means the theatre will be able to host incredibly bold productions and the company will be able to work without any technical limitations whatsoever.

Orchestra Pit 
The orchestra pit is equipped with a moveable acoustic wall developed to allow for varying orchestral and acoustic needs. At full capacity, the pit is 170 m2 and holds up to 120 musicians. 
The pit is also equipped with three platforms: a smaller one in the rear and two larger ones in the front. These can be raised or lowered to different levels depending on the instrumentation and the desired sound.

Acoustics 
The Mariinsky II has been designed to create ideal acoustic conditions. At about 18000 m3, the hall has an ideal volume and is comparable to the world’s most renowned opera houses. 
The auditorium’s floor is separated from the concrete foundations by sound-absorbing wooden structures. 
Solid wood balustrades arranged in an overlapping sequence with embedded light fixtures are located throughout the auditorium to aid sound diffusion. 
Uniquely designed 2 to 3 metre pieces of concave plaster have also been installed throughout the auditorium to disperse sound the sound better. 
The modulated surfaces of these inclined wall claddings are a modern-day version of the decorative elements found in historic opera houses to improve acoustics.

Rehearsal Spaces 
The new theatre incorporates numerous spacious rehearsal areas, including ones for the ballet company, the orchestra and chorus as well as large multifunctional rehearsal rooms and additional individual rehearsal rooms. Rehearsal room walls and ceilings are clad in special veneered and sound-absorbing panels.

Rooftop Amphitheatre 
The rooftop amphitheatre provides panoramic views of St Petersburg and can accommodate up to 200 people. The amphitheatre will play an important role in the Stars of the White Nights music festival.

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