Magazine article Opera Canada

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Magazine article Opera Canada

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Lyric Opera of Chicago ended the operatic portion of its 2015/16 season with a new-to-this-city production of Gounod's Romeo el Juliette (followed by The King and I). And an admirable show it was. The conducting of Emanuel Villaume could not have been more stylistically authentic, with the orchestra--and Michael Black's chorus--at peak level. The staging of Bartlett Sher was by and large a delight, with especial effectiveness in the crowd scene. Although the scenery used the now-familiar expedient of the unit set, it was stunningly designed by Michael Yeargan, with what looked like monumental arches, doorways and, of course, a balcony. There was no convincing reason to set the opera in the 18'1' century (neither the period of Shakespeare's play nor that of Gounod's composition), but Catherine Zuber's costumes were, as such, striking. The character of Romeo usually comes off a poor second to Juliet in the play and in the Prokofiev ballet, but that's not the case in this version. …

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