Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette @ Florida State University Opera

Some stories never get old. Even when they’re told in operatic voices singing french arias with English superscript. A love story on a grand scale with two casts; the Florida State University Opera Department does not disappoint with its amazing production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the recently renovated Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

I have been called upon to serve as the fight master for the production (gotta love those opera titles), creating the story of the epic fight between Roméo, Tybalt, and Mercutio. Pepper that with a mezzo-soprano pants role for the Montagues and a baritone thug of a Capulet and it’s a heartwarming brawl in the streets. That makes two considering the show opens on another violent meeting of the soon to be cursed households in the streets of Verona. Numerous chorus members participate and we see our first taste of death before the prologue gives way to the second movement. Matthew Lata’s direction and Peter Dean Beck’s scenic design have coupled to provide the a fantastic emotional and literal playground on which to tell the story of these famous families feuding and the actors have done an incredible job taking ownership of the violence while working with some complex choreography.

The show opens Thursday, Oct. 31st and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3rd. Tickets are available via the College of Music Box Office.