023) Gounod's Romeo et Juliette: The Apogee of French Romantic Opera

Of the hundreds of operas based on Shakespeare plays, Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette remains one of the most popular ever. This sumptuous opera expresses the intense passion of the “star-crossed lovers” through some of the most beautiful music in the French repertoire—in the Romantic tradition of sensual and graceful vocal delivery. In this course, we study the opera in its original French, as well as through an English translation, to deepen appreciation of that interrelationship between the music and the language which is unique to opera.  The use of bilingual (French-English) texts—introduces and/or reinforces basic language skills, while (for the more advanced students), enhancing literary appreciation of the lyrical passages inspired by Shakespeare’s play. The instructor will host (optional) trips to the Metropolitan Opera’s production: on stage, at Lincoln Center (Sunday matinée,  March 10th); and to the HD screenings, in New Brunswick (Saturday matinée, March 23rd and/or Wednesday matinée March 27th).