ROMEO AND JULIET Student Guide | Opera Company of Philadelphia

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Opera Company of Philadelphia and The School District of Philadelphia Present

Charles Gounod’s

Romeo & Juliet Final Dress Rehearsal: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, Academy of Music, Philadelphia, 2:00 PM


A Family Guide to

Pennsylvania’s standards in education call for students to show what they know and are able to do. Children need to share what they have discovered or learned. Thus, the title of our program is Sounds of Learning™. It reflects our belief that children must be actively engaged in sharing ideas. The Sounds of Learning™ workbook and teacher guide will integrate with the local core literacy curriculum in many ways. Just as opera is a uniquely integrated art, combining orchestra, voice, literature, drama, and dance, Sounds of Learning™ is an interdisciplinary program. The goal of the Active Learning sections is to have your children engaged in the process of self-teaching. They will be able to show how they have gained insights into their learning by drawing, writing, and discussing the issues most relevant to them. In this way, students demonstrate what they can do with what they know. We believe the family is the most important foundation to learning. Let your kitchen table become a classroom where your children can build their knowledge of opera and the humanities. As you join in the teaching and learning process with your children, watch their eyes sparkle. Opera is a communal celebration, so too should be your children’s education. In reading the libretto, we suggest that you and your family members take turns reading particular roles. Dr. Ellen Winner of Harvard’s Project Zero found that: “drama helps to build verbal skills that transfer to new materials;” helps students in “reading readiness and achievement;” and “oral and written language development.” (Journal of Aesthetic Education, v34, #3/4, Fall/Winter, 2000.) In preparing for the opera, we suggest you purchase one of EMI’s excellent audio or video recordings of this opera. We are grateful to EMI for offering us their libretti for use in our program. Together, we hope to build future audiences for, and performers of, the arts.

Goals and Objectives of Sounds of Learning™ • Improve literacy rates by using the opera’s libretto to teach courses across the curriculum • Understand the plot, characters, and their motivations • Learn something about the composer and others involved in writing the opera • Know something of the historic and social context of the story • Know some key musical elements, recognize certain melodies, differentiate between voices • Understand the role music plays by expressing emotions and heightening the dramatic experience • Understand the various elements of producing opera and the functions of those involved e.g. conductor, director, set designer, technical crew, etc. • Develop the ability to make judgments about the opera, production, and performance • Relate incidents in the opera to those of the present day Best Practices in Arts Education is sponsored by Pennsylvania Alliance for Arts Education, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Table of

Contents Opera 101: Getting Ready for the Opera 2 3 4 5 6

Opera Company of Philadelphia Philadelphia’s Academy of Music Opera Etiquette 101 Opera - Online! A Brief History of Western Opera

Relating Opera to History: The Culture Connection 8 9 10 11 12

Determined to Succeed: Charles François Gounod What in the World? Personal and Historic Events during Gounod’s Life Bard of Stratford: William Shakespeare History of Romeo and Juliet Gounod Puts Romeo and Juliet on the Opera Stage

Libretto and Production Information 13 14 16 17

Romeo and Juliet : Plot Synopsis A Romeo and Juliet for Today’s Audiences Who is Romeo? Who is Juliet?

35 36 37

Create Your own R&J What Happens Next?/Alternate Endings Conflicts and Loves in Romeo and Juliet




Check out our website for additional content! Here you’ll find more information on the opera, its themes, lessons, and links to even more fascinating material. See page 5 for more details.


Opera Company of Philadelphia Opera has played a vital part in Philadelphia’s history. The first opera in Philadelphia that we know of was Midas in 1769. Ever since then opera has been so popular in Philadelphia that there have been several opera companies in the city at the same time! In fact, the Opera Company of Philadelphia was created when the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company and the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company joined in 1975. Since then, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has honored the city’s operatic traditions. Each season the Opera Company presents five different operas with singers from all over the world. Three of the operas are given in the beautiful, large-scale Academy of Music. With just under 2,900 seats, the Academy is the Opera Company’s home for grand opera. Two smaller, more intimate operas are staged in the Perelman Theater. With about 600 seats, the Perelman, in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, is perfect for chamber and modern operas. Today, the Opera Company’s mission, or core purpose, has three parts to it: 1: Deliver outstanding productions of classic operas, often giving them in creative and cutting-edge ways, and create exciting new operas that people in Philadelphia’s socially and culturally varied area will like. We do this by hiring the best stage designers. Sets might be in the Company’s Production Center in the Tacony area of Philadelphia. Sometimes the

Opera Company partners with another company to build new sets and costumes, or rents a production from another company. The Opera Company supports creating new American operas, too. In recent seasons four new operas have been seen at OCP: Margaret Garner by Richard Danielpour, Cyrano by David DiChiera, Ainadamar by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov, Tea: A Mirror of Soul by Chinese composer Tan Dun, which premiered in February 2010. 2: Find the best young, up-and-coming singers and give them the chance to sing with some of the best singers in the world We find the brightest young singers in our own backyard at two of the best opera schools in the world - The Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Singers from both schools have sung right along side stars like Denyce Graves and Nathan Gunn. 3: Create informative student and adult programs that will introduce opera to newcomers and that both longtime and new opera fans will enjoy. Each season over 5,000 students from the Delaware Valley attend the opera through the Sounds of Learning™ program. The Company also hosts community recitals and lectures, technology-based internet events, and more. For over 30 years the Opera Company of Philadelphia has brought audiences outstanding production quality, artistry and educational opportunities. A strong blend of traditional and innovative programming will continue to ensure the excitement of opera in Philadelphia.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Find out more about the Opera Company of Philadelphia at our website:

2. Soprano Ermonela Jaho and tenor Roger Honeywell in Jun Kaneko’s stylized production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Photo: Kelly & Massa Photography

Want to learn more about the great history of opera in Philadelphia? Visit


Academy of Music


You will attend the opera at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, the country’s oldest grand opera house still used for its original purpose - performing opera! It is a very grand opera house with a huge chandelier and four levels. Its design was based on the famous La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy. Finding the money to build an opera house in Philadelphia was difficult, but enough money was raised by 1854. On October 13th a plot of land was bought on the corner of Broad and Locust Streets to build the opera house. In the fall of 1854 fifteen architects entered a competition to see who would design the Academy. On February 12, 1855, Gustav Rungé and Napoleon le Brun won the contest, which included a $400 prize. Within four months the ground-breaking took place. The project was so important that President Franklin Pierce, along with the governor and mayor, laid the cornerstone on July 26, 1855. The Academy opened on January 26, 1857 with a Grand Ball and Promenade Concert. The first opera presented in the brand new opera house was Giuseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore on February 25, 1857. Two of many operatic highlights throughout the theater’s history include the American premiere of Charles Gounod’s opera Faust on November 18, 1863 and a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on February 14, 1907 with the composer in attendance. Numerous presidents have visited the Academy, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. Prince Charles of Wales visited the Academy in 2007. Thousands of world-famous performers have appeared on its stage, such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, and Luciano Pavarotti. The Academy was made a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1963. Since then, a few changes have been made to the structure. The “Twenty-First Century Project”, begun in 1996, replaced the stage floor, rigging system, and restored the historic ceiling. During 2008 the famous chandelier was rebuilt to how it looked in 1857. All of these renovations have helped the Academy remain as grand as ever. We hope you find it grand as well!

The Academy of Music’s restored chandelier. Photo by Michael Bolton

Academy Facts ›

The auditorium seats 2,897; 14 columns support the Academy’s tiers; and the auditorium is encased within a three foot thick solid brick wall.

The Academy Chandelier is 25 feet high, 50 feet in circumference, almost 17 feet in diameter, and 3,500 pounds in weight. It has 23,000 crystals on it, which, if laid out, could reach from Broad Street to Rittenhouse Square and back.

The red and gold pattern on the Academy’s stage curtain simulates that of a pineapple, a Victorian-era symbol for “welcome.”

The first-ever indoor football game was held on the Academy’s Parquet level on March 7, 1889 between University of Pennsylvania and Riverton Club of Princeton. At halftime, tug-of-war matches were held as entertainment.

1,600 people attended the first ever motion picture screening on February 5, 1870. The audience saw a couple dancing, a gymnastics routine and more during the silent film.

› ›

Air conditioning was installed in the theatre 1959.

There was no elevator for the general public in the Academy until 1990!

For more information on the Academy of Music, go to the library and take out Within These Walls, by John Francis Marion or go online to


Opera Etiquette 101 There’s nothing quite as exciting as attending the opera in a professional theater like the Academy of Music. You will attend the final dress rehearsal of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet. Here’s what you’ll need to know about attending the opera! Unlike actors on television or in the movies, performers onstage are very aware of the audience. They want to share their love of performing with you. Everything you do in the audience affects what happens on stage. You can show them how much you appreciate their work and the opportunity to come to the rehearsal by being as quiet as possible. So, please refrain from talking out of respect for the cast, musicians, the entire production team, and everyone in the theater, and give the artists and the production your full attention!

ACTIVE LEARNING The picture on this page shows several patrons and famous opera characters on their way to attend an opera at the theater. Now picture yourself in their shoes. On a separate piece of paper, write a few words on what you think the trip to the opera will be like. You may want to mention going to the Academy of Music or attending the opera. What will you wear? How will you and your classmates act? At what time will you meet your classmates? How many classmates will attend? Will you have a special dinner before the opera? If so, where? Will the opera be exciting and entertaining? Share your thoughts here and compare your stories with your classmates.

Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts so that everyone in the theater can enjoy the opera:

Please Do... • Applaud after the arias; you can shout “Bravo!” for the men and “Brava!” for the women. • Enter and exit the theater in an orderly fashion. • Please use the bathrooms before the rehearsal begins or at intermission. • Turn off your cell phones and all electronic devices. • Enjoy the rehearsal. You’ve worked too hard preparing for the rehearsal not to!

Don’t Forget... • No food, gum and beverages are allowed inside the theater. • Photographs or video footage may not be taken during the performance. • No talking or whispering during the performance. • No shoving, jumping, running, or spitting in the theater. • Please obey the theater ushers and staff. • Keep all objects to yourself. If you throw something, you might hurt someone and cause a disruption in performance. It is grounds for removal from the auditorium. • MAKE YOUR SCHOOL PROUD!

OPERA – Online!


You might study music in your schools or privately. Where do you go if you want to learn more about Romeo and Juliet, opera singers, opera-related topics and experience opera more frequently? Visit OCP’s website at: Here you can find more information about Romeo and Juliet and all the operas presented by the Opera Company at absolutely no cost!

Opera Right in Your Email Inbox! Another great way to learn more is to sign up for the free weekly Sounds of Learning™ email list. Email your name, school and age to and each week we’ll send you an opera video “clip of the week” with famous opera singers singing great arias and ensembles all throughout the summer. Some will be funny, some will be thrilling, some will be dramatic, and all of it will be exciting! Also included in the email will be the website of the week. We’ll feature links to singers’ websites, music links, other great music and opera websites. You can build a whole library of video clips to go back to again and again! Share the clips and links with your family and friends. Don’t forget to check out our Sounds of Learning™ blog at The blog will allow you to discuss the opera with students throughout the tri-state area! Log onto the blog and share your thoughts and views about the opera, the music, the set, the singers, the Academy of Music, coming to center city Philadelphia, the email list “clip of the week” and more! Other students participating in Sounds of Learning™ from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware want to hear what you have to say! Post your comments by going to:

See rehearsal photos on our website at Log on and see our Behind the Scenes area to see how a production develops from the first day of rehearsal to opening night! Also, you can download extra copies of the Sounds of Learning™ guide and past guides from this page as well. All of this content is provided for free! If you’re online, check out our myspace and facebook pages, too. Just search for Opera Company of Philadelphia!

A Brief History of


Western Opera

Theatrical performances that use music, song and dance to tell a story can be found in many cultures. Opera is just one example of music drama. Throughout its 400-year history opera has been shaped by the times in which it was created and tells us much about those who participated in the art form as writers, composers, performers, and audience members. The first works to be called operas were created in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century. They were inspired by a group of intellectuals known as the Florentine Camerata who, like many thinkers of their time in the late Renaissance, admired the culture of the ancient Greeks. They proposed the invention of a new type of musical theater that would imitate Greek drama’s use of music. The result was a series of operas based on Greek myths, starting with Dafne by Jacopo Peri in 1598. The most famous work of this early period is Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607), based on the myth of Orpheus. These early operas had all the basic elements that we associate with opera today, including songs, instrumental accompaniments, dance, costumes, and scenery.

These early operas were performed in the courts of Italian noblemen, but soon opera became Claudio Monteverdi popular with the general public. 1567-1643 Europe at the time had a growing middle class with a taste for spectacular entertainment. As opera’s popularity grew, so did the complexity of operas and the level of spectacle. Many opera houses had elaborate machinery that could be used to create special effects such as flying actors and crumbling buildings. There was much debate about whether an excess of visual elements in opera detracted from the quality of the music and drama. Some people even worried that too much comedy in opera could lead to immorality among the public! During the period from about 1600 to 1750, the Baroque period in music, Italian opera spread across Europe. In fact the Italian style of opera was so popular that even though other countries and regions often had their own traditions of musical drama, the Italian form was usually preferred. George Frederick Handel was a German-born composer who lived and worked in England, but his operas, such as Julius Caesar (1724), were written in the Italian language and used an Italian style of

A tense scene from Act II of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. (l-r: bass Richard Bernstein, baritone Simone Alberghini and sopranos Christine Brandes and Mary Dunleavy.)

Bass Kevin Glavin gets a close shave from baritone Roberto DeCandia in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

music. The only nation to develop a national tradition to rival the Italian was France, where operas often included ballets inserted into the story. JeanBaptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau are the most famous French Baroque opera composers. By the eighteenth century Europe was changing. The growing middle class was more influential than ever, and people were starting to talk about new forms of government and organization in society. Soon the American and French Revolutions (1776 and 1789) would seek to establish the first modern democracies. Music was changing, too. Composers abandoned the Baroque era’s complicated musical style and began to write simpler music with more expressive melodies. Opera composers could write melodies that allowed characters to express their thoughts and feelings more believably. One of the first operas to use this new style was Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1762). With the new democratic sentiments came interest in operas about common people in familiar settings, rather than stories from ancient mythology. A good example is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786), in which a servant outsmarts a count. Several of Mozart’s operas remain among the most popular today. They include Figaro, Don Giovanni (1788), Così fan tutte (1790), and The Magic Flute (1791). In the nineteenth century operas continued to grow more diverse in their subject matter, forms, and national styles. The Italian tradition continued in the bel canto movement. Operas written in this style, which means “beautiful singing”, included arias with intricate ornamentation, or combinations of fast notes, in the melodies. The most famous bel canto composers are Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Gioacchino Rossini, whose The Barber of Seville (1816) is one of the most beloved comic operas.

Later in the century the Romantic Movement led many composers to take an interest their national identities. As a result, operas in languages other than Italian became more common, and new works often reflected pride in a country’s people, history and folklore. Among the operas that show the growth of national traditions are Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (Germany, 1821), Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmilla (Russia, 1842) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen (France, 1875). In Italy Giuseppe Verdi composed in a bold, direct style, and his operas, such as Nabucco (1842) and Macbeth (1847), often included elements of nationalism. In Germany Richard Wagner took the Romantic style to the extreme in an ambitious series of operas known collectively as The Ring of the Nibelung (1876) based on Norse mythology. In the twentieth century opera became even more diversified and experimental, to the point that it sometimes became difficult to distinguish it from other forms of musical theater. Some composers such as Giacomo Puccini (La bohème, 1896), Claude Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande, 1902), Richard Strauss (Salome, 1905), and Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes, 1945) continued to write operas that were similar in many ways to those of the nineteenth century. Others, horrified by the destructive effects of World War I (1914-1919) and other aspects of modern life, created works with radically experimental and dissonant music. These operas often explored topics that were either disturbing (Wozzeck by Alban Berg, 1925) or absurdist (The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky, 1951). American opera also came into its own in this century, beginning with George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (1935) which incorporated jazz and blues styles of music. In the latter part of the century a repetitive and hypnotic style known as minimalism was exemplified in Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach (1976), a piece that would hardly be recognized as an opera by earlier standards. The late twentieth century even saw a return to some of the traits of Romantic opera in works such as John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (1991). Today, opera is a living art form in which both new works and those by composers of the past continue to be performed. It remains to be seen what the future of opera will be, but if history is any indication, it will be shaped by the creativity of librettists, composers, and other artists responding the changing times in which they live.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791

Determined to Succeed: 8

Charles François Gounod Gounod became part of a project to write an opera based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s tragic play Faust. While there were a few delays with the project, work resumed in April 1858, and the opera premiered on March 19, 1859 with modest success. Reviewers thought the music was too elevated and overly serious. Gradually, the French public adapted its ears to Gounod’s style, and Faust soon became popular. Gounod hoped to continue this success, but his next three operas were failures. Despite this, Gounod was still highly regarded by the French public. In 1865, despite the increasing severity of a nervous disorder, he turned to an opera based on Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. This new opera premiered during the Paris Universal Exposition of 1867 and was Gounod’s greatest immediate success.

Romeo and Juliet composer Charles Francois Gounod (1818-1893)

Romeo and Juliet composer Charles François Gounod was born in Paris on June 17, 1818. During his lifetime, he became the leading figure in French music and composed twelve operas. The popularity of his opera Faust (1859) brought him public renown, but, by the time of his death in 1893, he was considered a composer of limited scope. Only two of his operas are performed today, while his other works are largely ignored. Gounod’s father, Francois Louis, was a painter, and his mother Victoire was a pianist. Gounod’s father died when he was five, and his mother taught drawing and piano in order to support the family. In 1829 he entered the Lycee St. Louis School and his beautiful voice earned him the position of choir soloist. While his mother wanted him to study law, he decided at age 16 to devote his life to music. After studying with outstanding musicians, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome prize in 1839 which gave him the chance to study in Rome and Germany. During this period, Gounod wrote many religious pieces and became director of music at the Missions Etrangères church in Paris. In 1847 he enrolled in the St. Sulpice seminary, but the following year he left, setting his sights instead on the world of opera. Although he had no formal background in opera, his friendship with the famous mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot led to a commission to compose a two-act opera for the Paris Opera. Gounod composed Sapho, an opera in three acts, during the summer of 1850. It premiered in Paris on April 16, 1851, and was a failure despite critical praise of the music. In 1852 Gounod married the esteemed pianist Anna Zimmerman. He continued to try his hand at opera with only modest success.

In 1869, Faust received its first performance at the Paris Opera following the addition of a required largescale ballet. The opera’s new success began its long span as an international favorite. Gounod, worried about the political currents then shaking European civilization, moved his family to England in 1870. There he developed a friendship with Georgina Weldon, an English soprano, which threatened his marriage and his work. During this troubled time he worked on his opera Polyeucte, which when finally performed in 1878 was yet another failure. Critics suggested he give up composing operas. Gounod made one last attempt to rescue Sapho, but a new production in 1884 failed to achieve success. In the remaining years of his life, he never again attempted a return to the stage. He died on October 18, 1893, his reputation secure but limited.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Find out more about Gounod by joining our weekly email list by writing to, or by visiting the Romeo and Juliet page on the Opera Company website. See page 5 for more details.


Some of Gounod’s music has become so popular that everyone knows it. Perhaps you’ve heard his setting of the Ave Maria or The Funeral March for a Marionette? Do a search for either of these titles on YouTube or iTunes and see what you find!

What in the World?

Personal and Historic Events during Gounod’s Life


Below is a list of important historical events. The items in boldface type happened to Gounod and items with an asterisk (*) have local significance. All other items are historic or cultural events. What it might have been like to be alive during the time period. How would your life be different or the same? How did the inventions of the time affect daily life?

1818 1823 1829




1834 1839 1845 1847 1848 1849 1850


1851 1852 1857 * 1859 1861-65 1862 1865 1869 * 1870 1872 1874

* * *

1876 1877 1881 1882 1884 1890 1893


Gounod was born in Paris on June 17. Gounod’s father died, causing his mother to have to work to support the family. The cornerstone for first United States mint was laid at Chestnut and Juniper Streets in Philadelphia. Gounod entered the Lycee St. Louis and became the choir’s soloist. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was first published by Sarah Josepha Hale in the anthology "Poems for Our Children." Gounod became obsessed with composing after hearing Rossini’s Otello at the Théâtre-Italien. Gounod began to study with famous musicians Reicha, Halevy, and Le Sueur. Gounod won the Prix de Rome and studied abroad while writing religious works. Edgar Allan Poe’s poem "The Raven" was first published. The first doughnut with a hole in it was created. Gounod enrolled in St. Sulpice seminary. Gounod abandoned his religious vocation to focus on opera. California’s Gold Rush began. Gounod composed Sapho for mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot. The first women's medical school, the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, opened. Gounod’s first opera Sapho premiered but was not a success. Gounod married famous pianist Anna Zimmerman. Philadelphia’s Academy of Music opened with a concert conducted by Tchaikovsky. Faust premiered; it would prove to be Gounod’s most successful and enduring opera. American Civil War took place. First United States paper money was issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery throughout the United States. Charles Elmer Hires sold his first root beer in Philadelphia. Gounod and his family moved to England after the Franco-Prussian War, while there his wife left him due to his close friendship with a female opera singer. The first section of the famous boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., opened to the public. The Republican National Convention, the first major political party convention to include African Americans, was held in Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. Gounod returned to France. The first United States zoo opened in Philadelphia. A United States child labor law took 12 year olds out of work force. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call. Gounod’s Cinq Mars premiered to negative reviews, with Gounod’s style called outdated. The first department store opened in Philadelphia by John Wanamaker. Gounod was told by critics to give up opera composition. In Alabama Tuskegee Institute was founded by former slave Booker T. Washington. The first string of Christmas tree lights was created by Thomas Edison. Gounood’s revised Sapho premiered but failed; Gounod stopped writing any major compositions. America's first roller coaster began operating at Coney Island, NYC. It hit a top speed of 6 mph. Ellis Island, NYC, opened as a United States immigration depot. Peanut Butter was invented as a vegetarian protein supplement for people with missing teeth. Gounod died on October 18.

A forty-niner peers into the silt of California’s American River during the Gold Rush.

A 1902 photo of immigrants entering the United States through Ellis Island. Photo: Library of Congress

Bard of Stratford

William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare was born the third of eight children to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in 1564. His father was a merchant and a fine leather glove maker. His mother was from a family of land owners. As William grew, his father became an alderman and later the mayor of their town, Stratford-uponAvon. William attended the local grammar school where he studied the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the tragedies of Seneca in Latin.

Portrait of William Shakespeare, Bard of Stratford.

In 1582 William married Anne Hathaway, who was about eight years his senior. Together they had three children: Susanna, 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet, 1585. While there was work for William in Stratford-upon-Avon as an actor, the call of London, the capital of his craft, led him to move to the city in 1588. By 1594 he had established himself as both a playwright and actor and was invited to join the company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. This group of actors performed at The Globe Theatre, located on the South Bank of the Thames River in Southwark. To attend their performances, theater goers had to take the ferry across the river or travel across the London Bridge. The Globe Theatre had a thatched roof and burned down in 1613 during a production of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. The theater was rebuilt and reopened a year later. Later, under the patronage of King James I of England, the group was given an indoor theater known as The Blackfriars. The group was then named The King’s Men. Shakespeare’s plays were very popular with the people of London. While it was not customary to pay much to a playwright for his work, Shakespeare was given a share of the profits from the sale of tickets. As a shareholder of the company, he became wealthy. He also took pleasure in acting in his creations. It is believed that he acted the roles of Adam in As You Like It and the ghost of Hamlet’s father. His knowledge of stagecraft and the demands of acting gave him a great insight into the dynamics of successful drama. Although he wrote thirty-eight plays, we have no manuscripts in his handwriting because he did not consider the writing of plays as literature. He would only publish them to correct errors in other editions of his works that were printed without his permission. In his day, the

concept of copyright did not exist. Anyone could copy the work of another person and publish it for profit. Shakespeare authorized the publishing of only half of his work known as “quarto” editions. For the remainder of his plays, we depend upon his friends and colleagues for “folio” editions which were published several years after his death. Shakespeare’s poetry is also very highly regarded. His sonnets are regarded as a very high form of poetry and his work in this area earned him the epithet, “mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare” in 1598. His classical epics, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece are considered two of the finest pieces of writing in the English language. With his success, he returned to Stratford-upon-Avon and purchased one of the finest homes in town, New Place. Across the garden from his home, he had another home built for his daughter Susanna and her husband Dr. Hall. Whenever the plague would strike and the theaters were closed, he would return home to wait out the cycle of the disease. After writing The Tempest in 1610, he left London and retired to his country home. Six years later, the venerable “Bard of Stratford” died and was given a hero’s funeral. So great were his plays that the field of opera has hundreds of scores written to them. Berlioz wrote his Béatrice et Bénédict based upon Much Ado about Nothing. Ralph Vaughn Williams’ opera, Sir John in Love, was based upon The Merry Wives of Windsor. Verdi’s Otello and Macbeth were based upon Shakespeare’s plays of the same name and his Falstaff was based upon both King Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has twenty-five operas based upon it, The Tempest has forty-seven and A Midsummer Night’s Dream has forty-eight operas based upon it. Few authors can claim to have affected the culture of the world more than William Shakespeare, the “Bard of Stratford.”

The witches wreak havoc in The Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2003 production of Verdi’s Macbeth.

The History of

Romeo and Juliet


We may think of Romeo and Juliet as being the eternal couple: two teenaged lovers from Verona who made history by taking their lives rather than living apart from each other, thus uniting their feuding families. Romantics all over the world may be disappointed to find out that the famous “starcross’d lovers” never actually existed.

families. He also rewrote their deaths in the style of Pyramus and Thisbe. Finally, he created characters who were similar to Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris.

The origin of the basic Romeo and Juliet story stretches back to the time of the ancient Romans. The first story to use “lovers from rival families” as its theme was that of Pyramus and Thisbe, as first told by Ovid. In it two young lovers are kept apart by their feuding families, and have to communicate with each other through a hole in the wall separating their houses. Eventually, they plan to run away together, but, through a mix up with a lion, Pyramus thinks Thisbe has died and stabs himself. Upon finding her lover dying, Thisbe stabs herself, too.

Later versions of this tale were all adaptations of da Porto’s story. Matteo Bandello adapted it in 1554, introducing characters similar to the Nurse and Benvolio. Pierre Boaistuau then adapted Bandello’s version into an awkward French translation. This French version was adapted by Arthur Brooke into English as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, Shakespeare’s direct source for his play. Brooke’s version is reportedly terrible, full of bland poetry and moralizing (for example, in the introduction, Brooke justifies the lovers’ deaths because of their "unhonest desire, neglecting the authority and advice of parents and friends; conferring their principal counsels with drunken gossips and superstitious friars...")

If this sounds familiar, it is Romeo and Juliet’s plot in its essential form. In fact, Shakespeare made fun of the Pyramus and Thisbe story in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1594-1596), written after Romeo and Juliet (1591-1595), by having some foolish rustics put on the play and make a mess of it. Many people think that, by extension, Shakespeare was making fun of his own Romeo and Juliet at the same time by pointing out the tale’s absurdities. Another famous source for Romeo and Juliet was Dante’s Divine Comedy (1321). The two lovers aren’t mentioned, but Dante introduces the warring Capulet and Montague families who are fighting over land. The first story that is truly similar to Romeo and Juliet (1476) by Massucio Salernitano as the 33rd novel of his Il Novellino series. If not inspired by Pyramus and Thisbe and with the lovers now named Mariotto and Gianozza, Salernitano’s story introduced many elements found in later versions of the story. In this story originates the character of the friar, the secret marriage, the potion, the undelivered message, the exile of one of the lovers due to the death of an important citizen. However, in the end of this version, Mariotto, taken by the authorities, is beheaded and Gianozza dies of a broken heart. The first person to weave these strands together into the more familiar version of Romeo and Juliet was Luigi da Porto in 1530. He was the first one to give the lovers their familiar names and to make them children of the warring Montague and Capulet

Despite subtle differences in plotting, Brooke’s story closely resembles the Romeo and Juliet we know today, just missing all of Shakespeare’s poetry, brilliant structuring, and deep characterization. While Romeo and Juliet’s story continues to evolve today (as seen, most notably, in Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story), the essence of the story is as old as history itself.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Aren’t familiar with Pryamus and Thisbe? Check out a performance by The Beatles at

2. Want to learn more about Pyramus and Thisbe? Visit

3. Compare and contrast elements of Romeo and Juliet with those from West Side Story. Which elements are different and which are the same?

Ford Madox Brown’s famous 1870 painting of Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene. This painting can be seen in the Delaware Museum of Art.

Gounod puts Romeo and Juliet

On the Opera Stage


Gounod had always been interested in the story of Romeo and Juliet, ever since he heard Hector Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette symphony as a boy. After the success of Faust, and the failure of a few following operas, Gounod decided to take retreat in the country to cure his rheumatism and write Roméo et Juliette.

characters like Friar Laurence and Mercutio simpler than they had been in the play. This suited Gounod very well, who was mostly interested in writing duets for the two lovers. To this end, much of the opera is taken up by four major love duets (the madrigal at Capulet’s ball, the balcony scene, Romeo’s night visit to Juliet, and the death scene).

His libretto was written by the team of Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, who had worked with Gounod before. Barbier and Carré specialized in adapting previously written works into librettos, maintaining as much of the original work as they could.

Gounod wrote out the score in the town Saint Raphael in the spring of 1865. In addition to taking care of his rheumatism, he hoped the country would inspire him while working on the opera. Gounod thought that the area, filled with ancient ruins, was just like the plains around Rome, but more beautiful. The perfect place to write his opera set in Italy. He would take long walks early in the morning by the sea. Then, when he had settled down beneath some trees with his score in front of him, he would begin to work. Gounod found himself in a fever of inspiration, and the music came quickly and surely. In fact, at the end of a month, he had completed most of the opera. He himself said of the work: “The first act ends brilliantly; the second is tender and dreamy, the third bold and animated with the duels and Romeo sentenced to exile: the fourth is dramatic, the fifth tragic.”

Their job with Romeo and Juliet was no different. In adapting it into a libretto they attempted to keep as much of the language intact as possible, simply carrying over metaphors and whole lines from Shakespeare’s original. In addition, they kept the story very similar (unlike other Romeo and Juliet librettos, like the one for Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi). However, they trimmed most of the extra plot lines and characters, focusing exclusively on the tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet and making

Soprano Adelina Patti and tenor Giovanni Mario in Act 2 of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette in the first London production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which was first presented on 1867

However, Gounod’s pace took its toll. When the weather turned and rain set in, an exhausted Gounod was struck by nervous illness. His wife and doctor had to come rescue him, but he was able to start work on Roméo et Juliette within the month. He did not deliver the score to his publisher until the next year. Arguments broke out over the lead role (Gounod did not want a handsome young celebrity by the name of Victor Capoul to get the part of Romeo) and over the nature of the performance (should some of the opera be spoken or should everything be sung). When everything had been resolved, the date of the premiere was set for April 1867, during the Exposition Universelle, an enormous sort of World’s Fair set in Paris. Gounod was worried, since the date of the opening was the same as the date of a very important ball. However, his publisher convinced him that this was a good thing: people would see the opera, and then immediately go to the ball and talk about how great it was. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what happened, and Roméo et Juliette proved to be Gounod’s only immediate big hit.

Romeo and Juliet

Plot Synopsis PROLOGUE Men and women of Verona, in the style of a Greek chorus, tell of the rivalry between two warring fashion houses: Capulet and Montague. The chorus summarizes the tragedy that is about to unfold.

ACT I Guests gather at a ball in the Capulet house and anticipate the unveiling of the new spring collection. Waiting for the arrival of his cousin Juliet, who is the face of the House of Capulet, Tybalt tells her suitor Paris of her beauty. As the editor of the leading fashion magazine, Paris is a perfect match for Juliet. Capulet enters and introduces his daughter Juliet to the crowd before inviting them to see the collection. Fashion rival Romeo Montague sneaks into the party with his friends Mercutio and Benvolio to spy on their competitors. Romeo tells them of his dream which fills him with foreboding, but Mercutio dismisses it, saying it is the work of the fairy Mab, queen of dreams and illusions. His song turns into a walk-off contest for the stuck-up models. Romeo suddenly sees Juliet and is instantly drawn to her. His friends drag him away as Juliet tells her personal trainer Gertrude that she has no desire to marry; she vows to break free from this glitter and glamour world in order to be able to live her own life. When Romeo finally approaches Juliet, they both instantly recognize that they are destined for each other. As Tybalt returns, the two lovers realize their identities – she, the face of the House of Capulet and he, the son of the Montague fashion house. Romeo runs out. Tybalt wishes to fight the Montague faction but Capulet stops him, saying that the party should continue.

ACT II Later that night, Romeo sneaks back into the Capulet gardens, sneaking his way through security alarms as his friends taunt him from below. He muses on his feelings for Juliet. He says “Love...its intensity has disturbed my very being!” Juliet appears on the balcony above him and, when he finally reveals himself, the two declare their love for each other. Between interruptions from the servants and Gertrude, the lovers agree to marry the next day.

ACT III At daybreak, Romeo rushes to his spiritual guru Laurence to tell him of his love for Juliet. She soon arrives and the two beg Laurence to marry them. Convinced of their love and hoping that the union will end the rivalry between the two families, Laurence unites the pair. Outside the Capulet


house, Romeo’s assistant Stephano provokes a fight with several of the Capulets. Mercutio and Benvolio arrive, followed shortly by Tybalt and Paris. Tybalt and Mercutio fight. As Romeo tries to keep the peace he urges Tybalt to forget about the families’ rivalry. Tybalt ignores him and fatally wounds Mercutio. Romeo avenges the death of his friend. He attacks Tybalt and kills him. The Duke arrives with paparazzi in tow. Both families call for justice, and the Duke banishes Romeo from Verona.

ACT IV At daybreak in Juliet’s room, Juliet has forgiven Romeo for killing her cousin. They sing of their love for each other, but Romeo pulls away from their embrace when he hears the morning lark. ('Nuit d’hyménée, ô douce nuit d’amour') Juliet refuses to believe that it is morning, but the two say their goodbyes as Romeo flees into exile. Capulet arrives and tells his daughter that she will marry Paris later that day. Depressed and alone with Laurence, Juliet tells him that she would rather die than marry Paris. Laurence suggests a way out for her. He gives her a sleeping potion that will make her appear dead, and when she awakes Romeo will be at her side. Juliet agrees and summons all her courage to drink the potion. ('Amour, ranime mon courage') When Capulet arrives with family, guests, and photographers to lead her to the wedding, she collapses and all assume she is dead.

ACT V Juliet lies in Capulet’s mirrored tomb. Not having received Laurence’s note about the plan and hearing the news of Juliet’s passing, Romeo arrives. Mourning the loss of his wife, he gazes down at her and is amazed that Death has not robbed her of her beauty. Determined to join his wife in Eternity, he drinks a vial of poison. Barely has the vial fallen from his hand when Juliet begins to wake from her deep slumber. The two sing once more of their love. As Romeo begins to succumb to the poison, Juliet pulls out Romeo’s weapon and mortally injures herself. The two ask God for His forgiveness as they die in each others’ arms.

Soprano Ailyn Pérez as Juliet and tenor Stephen Costello as Romeo. Photo: Adam LeighManuell

A Romeo and Juliet for

Today’s Audiences


Romeo and Juliet remains one of the most easily recognized stories. The idea of young lovers separated by society has been relevant to audiences throughout history. However, these days, when teenagers often simply go off and do what they want, the story can seem confusing to some.

Why don’t Romeo and Juliet just run off together? Why are they so concerned with making their parents happy? Their death almost makes the story seem melodramatic or exaggerated. Thus the thinking behind the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s new production of Gounod’s opera, masterminded by Italian director Manfred Schweigkofler. He decided to set Romeo and Juliet in the present day in the heated and very competitive world of fashion. The House of Monatgue and House of Capulet become two warring fashion houses. Now, Romeo and Juliet’s struggle can be seen in the context of our modern society’s obsession with beauty and conformity. Schweigkofler defines it as “the failure of a one-toone, sincere, intimate relationship within a numerous, pretentious, limelight-seeking community,” or more succinctly, “idealism proves to be no match for materialism.”

Preliminary House of Capulet fashion design sketches by Drexel University and Moore College of Art students.

Idealism can be understood as a belief in principles or ideas, like love or honor, while materialism is a commitment to worldly, immediate things like money or clothes. Romeo and Juliet’s love is idealistic, while the concerns of their families and society at large are materialistic. Oftentimes, people are told it is more important to be successful than to find true love. Act II, famous for its beautiful love

poetry, takes place in the ultra modern Capulet penthouse, and the Manfred Schweigkofler Director audience is offered an immediate visual example of material wealth. Playing by the rules yields success, and the production makes the audience see how amazing looking this success is. That way, they can better understand Romeo and Juliet’s struggle to escape the lure of money, fashion, and prestige. Juliet herself is the top model of her family’s lines, and, as Manfred says, “her face smiles at you from banner advertisements hanging all over the city as well as from the pages of all the glossiest magazines.” She is not just a teenage girl, but she has been made an image to be bought and sold. Her marriage to Romeo is disastrous from a business perspective (Paris, the preferred match for Juliet, is the publisher of a leading fashion magazine). However, the marriage is also difficult even for the two lovers themselves. Juliet has become an advertising image, and it can be hard to see her as a real person. Manfred defines Romeo’s character as filled with the “tension between physical desire and worship.” He loves her as a person, but worships her as an image. How can a mere man feel true love for one who has been elevated above human beings by advertising? Juliet is defined as a “prisoner of the system who wants to break out.” She wants to become defined by her love, not her life as a model. Now Romeo and Juliet’s deaths make sense, because their love seems impossible in a world so committed to advertising, conformity, and image worship. It is worth noting that in this production, Juliet’s death is announced via press conference (“much like Michael Jackson,” Manfred notes). Though she and Romeo may have escaped these pressures through death, in our lives they continue uninterrupted. “The closing scene (tomb) is set in a room full of mirrors in which the audience can recognize themselves as a crowd of onlookers who are fascinated by human tragedies.” With that quote Manfred discusses how he involves the audience in the drama, and how the lovers, even in their final, tender moments together, are denied any privacy. Manfred says, “R&J is also the story of a continuous invasion of privacy,” another relatable feature of our modern world. With all the billboards, magazines and press conferences, Romeo and Juliet are defined

by their media presence, by their availability to others. Romeo’s exile is a “media execution,” and the above mentioned press conference is another example of the media intrusive presence in a story that is supposed to be about young lovers discovering their feelings in private. In the age of social networking, do relationships even exist if they haven’t been made public to all our friends for consideration and acceptance? With a production set among dueling fashion houses it is no wonder that the costumes play an especially important role in this production. Costume designer Richard St. Clair wanted to create costumes that could visually define and distinguish the two warring factions, without falling into obvious “redteam/blue-team” color coding. Every costume in the performance is “Italian in style,” and, ultimately, making the opera work requires bringing the legendary world of Italian fashion to life and using it to illuminate the characters. The House of Capulet, whose fashion show is seen in the opera’s opening scene, embodies an extravagant, showy style which can be seen in many Italian brands. Indeed, the members of this fashion house, throughout the opera, are the most forceful and frequent representatives of the materialist consumer culture which intrudes on Romeo and Juliet’s love, and the house’s style, “over the top opulence,” provides a perfect visual representation of that. The human beings themselves are almost lost in their clothes. St. Clair describes it as “Versace cross-pollinated with Lacroix,” while the House of Montague can be immediately distinguished from their rivals by their simple, elegant style. St. Clair describes their fashions as inspired by Armani and based on the “less is more” philosophy. Therefore, as crowds shift and characters enter and exit, it should always remain immediately obvious with which house each person is aligned. The central scene, from a costuming perspective, is the first one, at the Capulet ball leading up to the fashion show introducing their Summer 2011 line. St. Clair was inspired by the movie An American in Paris, when thinking of how to costume the scene. He decided to dress the ball in “black and white,” with each character wearing black or white clothes, so that when the colorful outfits of the Summer line emerge on the runway, the colors and the clothes pop for the audience with a greater exuberance. All the guests at the ball are dressed in either black or cream, with only Romeo and Juliet wearing white, allowing them to stand out. Juliet herself is wearing a special dress, the centerpiece of the Sumer Line, and one St. Clair

thinks cuts right to the heart of what the opera is about. Studded with rhinestones and palegold sequins, it strikes St. Clair as what a teenage girl would think of as “adult.” St. Clair sees Romeo and Juliet as a “story about the generation gap,” where teenagers try to act like grown-ups, while still being children inside. To add authenticity to the production, the opera’s stars Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello met with St. Clair and prominent fashion and commercial photographer Adam Leigh-Manuell this past summer to do a photo shoot for the production. The photos taken at that session can be seen throughout the book and on stage in the production. For this production the Opera Company of Philadelphia has partnered with Philadelphia’s best design schools: Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Art & Design, Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University. Creations by fashion students from these schools will make up the Capulet Summer 2011 Collection. A runway presentation of the collection will be shown in the opera’s opening scene. The world of fashion has a dubious reputation for the diva attitude of its supermodels and the cutthroat nature of the rival fashion houses. Director Manfred Schweigkofler hopes that bringing the story of Romeo and Juliet into this headline grabbing arena, it will become more relevant for contemporary audiences.

ACTIVE LEARNING 1. Learn more about this production by visiting us online at

2. Want to learn more about Philadelphia’s fashion industry, visit


Preliminary costume for Juliet during the ball in Act I, scene 1.

Who is Romeo? 16

Romeo is a headstrong, passionate young man, who can lets his emotions get in the way of making good decisions. Just entering high school, he spends all his time listening to his iPod. He’s rebellious and doesn’t like following all the rules that come with being part of one of the world’s biggest fashion houses. He would rather just hang out and go to parties, like the big Capulet party for Juliet. Romeo is loyal and good to his friends. He revenged Mercutio’s death, even though he got banished for killing Tybalt. He won’t let anybody else tell him how he should Tenor Stephen Costello as Romeo. Photo: Adam Leigh-Manuell

live or how he should feel. He tends to dress in jeans and t-shirts, which means he looks pretty out of place when at a big Capulet fashion party.

What do you thing Romeo and Juliet’s decision to marry?__________________________________________________________ Would you get married at the age of 14? ___________________________________________________________________ Do you think that emotions and feelings are more important than reason and rules? Why or why not? _____________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you similar to Romeo? How are you different? _________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Why do you think Romeo dresses the way he does? How much time does he spend getting ready in the morning? ______________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ What do you think is on Romeo’s iPod? ______________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you think Romeo is popular in high school? Why or why not? __________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ How many girls do you think Romeo had a crush on before he met Juliet? __________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ What kind of stuff do you think Romeo keeps in his room? __________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Romeo’s getting close to the age when he can get his driver’s license. What kind of car do you think he would drive? __________


Who is Juliet? 17

Juliet is an intelligent young woman, who has strong emotions. She wants to be free and independent, but she also wants to make everybody happy. Therefore, she is torn when her parents order her to marry the fashion magazine publisher Paris, even though she doesn’t love him. She feels tons of pressure being the public face of her fashion house and is nervous, now that she’s fourteen, that she’ll have to be in the public eye a lot more. She is calm, reasonable, and always thinks about the consequences of her actions, but sometimes she will take risks anyway if she feels strongly enough, like faking her death or jeopardizing her career by refusing to

Soprano Ailyn Pérez as Juliet

marry Paris.

Photo: Adam Leigh-Manuell

Why does Juliet feel that she has to make everyone else happy, but not herself? ______________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name a situation where you took a risk, even though there could have been a bad consequence? _________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you ever think the rules are too restrictive for you? If so, how do you deal with those feelings? _________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ How are you similar to Juliet? How are you different? ___________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you think Juliet likes getting all these free new clothes? Or does she feel too much pressure because of them? ____________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ What do you think is on Juliet’s iPod? ________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ With so much time spent modeling and posing for photo shoots, how do you think Juliet’s social life is? ____________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Imagine a day in Juliet’s life. What would she do? Who would she see? How much time would she spend in school, modeling, with her friends? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ What do you think Juliet wears in her spare time? When she’s relaxing? _____________________________________________


Create Your Own R&J Nothing succeeds like success, as they say. From antiquity to Shakespeare and more recent times, theatrical productions use classic stories to inspire new works. Recently the Broadway musical Rent was hugely successful and was based on the Henri Murger novel Scènes de la vie de bohème and on Giacomo Puccini’s ever-popular opera La bohème. Your challenge is to update Rome and Juliet into a modern time and place – even in a different genre. Will you create a new musical? A theatrical play? An opera? A radio drama? Here’s your chance to flex your creative muscle and come up with a new adaptation of this centuries-old story! Fill in the information below to create your masterpiece!

Title: _________________________________________________________________________________ Genre: _______________________________________________________________________________

Characters and their descriptions: __________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Setting: _______________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Plot: _________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Costumes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Why did you decide on this treatment? ______________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________



What Happens Next?/Alternate Endings Using the space below, write what you think will happen next to the characters in Romeo & Juliet. Alternatively, you could write a new ending for the libretto based on what you would have liked to have seen to the characters. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conflicts and Loves in Romeo and Juliet Draw a picture of Juliet in the middle circle. In the outer circles, draw a picture of those individuals with whom she has a direct relationship. Then in the boxes pointing toward the middle circle, write how that individual feels about the central character. In the boxes pointing to the outer circles, write how Juliet feels about that individual.



Glossary aggressor [uh-gres-er] n. a person, group, or nation that attacks first or initiates hostilities; an assailant or invader allay [uh-ley] v. to put (fear, doubt, suspicion, anger, etc.) to rest; calm; quiet approbation [ap-ruh-bey-shuhn] n. approval; commendation ardent [ahr-dnt] adj. having, expressive of, or characterized by intense feeling; passionate; fervent azure [azh-er] adj. of or having a light, purplish shade of blue, like that of a clear and unclouded sky beset [bih-set] v. to surround; hem in bewilder [bih-wil-der] v. to confuse or puzzle completely; perplex brood [brood] n. a breed, species, group, or kind celestial [suh-les-chuhl] adj. pertaining to the spiritual or invisible heaven; heavenly; divine chide [chahyd] v. to express disapproval of; scold; reproach conceit [kuhn-seet] n. a fancy; whim; fanciful notion confidant [kon-fi-dant] n. a close friend or associate to whom secrets are confided or with whom private matters and problems are discussed consecrate [kon-si-kreyt] v. to make (something) an object of honor or veneration; hallow consolation [kon-suh-ley-shuhn] n. comfort; solace coo [koo] v. to utter or imitate the soft, murmuring sound characteristic of doves coquette [koh-ket] n. a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men to win their admiration and affection; flirt courtier [kawr-tee-er] n. a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage cudgel [kuhj-uhl] n. a short, thick stick used as a weapon; club deign [deyn] v. to think fit or in accordance with one's dignity; condescend dispel [dih-spel] v. to cause to vanish; alleviate distemperature [dis-tem-per-uh-cher] n. a distempered or disordered condition; disturbance of health, mind, or temper efface [ih-feys] v. to wipe out; do away with; expunge elate [ih-leyt] v. to make very happy or proud fain [feyn] adv. gladly; willingly fertile [fur-tahyl] adj. producing an abundance fickle [fik-uhl] adj. likely to change, esp. due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable firmament [fur-muh-muhnt] n. the vault of heaven; sky fleeting [flee-ting] adj. passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory frivolous [friv-uh-luhs] adj. characterized by lack of seriousness or sense infatuation [in-fach-oo-ey-shuhn] n. foolish or all-absorbing passion intoxicating [in-tok-si-key-ting] adj. exhilarating; exciting jape [jeyp] n. a joke; jest; quip knave [neyv] n. an unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest person limpid [lim-pid] adj. clear, transparent, or pellucid, as water, crystal, or air miser [mahy-zer] n. a stingy, avaricious person pallor [pal-er] n. unusual or extreme paleness, as from fear, ill health, or death; wanness penance [pen-uhns] n. a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin plight [plahyt] n. a condition, state, or situation, esp. an unfavorable or unfortunate one portent [pawr-tent] n. an indication or omen of something about to happen, esp. something momentous precedence [pri-seed-ns] n. the order to be observed in ceremonies by persons of different ranks, as by diplomatic protocol presentiment [pri-zen-tuh-muhnt] n. a feeling that something is about to happen, esp. something evil; foreboding pretext [pree-tekst] n. something that is put forward to conceal a true purpose or object; an ostensible reason; excuse profane [pruh-feyn] v. to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of reel [reel] v. to sway or rock under a blow, shock, etc regale [ri-geyl] v. to entertain lavishly or agreeably; delight rend [rend] v. to tear apart, split, or divide revel [rev-uhl] n. Often, revels, an occasion of merrymaking or noisy festivity with dancing, masking, etc. selfsame [self-seym] adj. being the very same; identical trifling [trahy-fling] adj. of very little importance; trivial; insignificant untoward [uhn-tawrd] adj. improper

vie [vahy] v. to strive in competition or rivalry with another; contend for superiority wanton [won-tn] n. extravagantly or excessively luxurious, as a person, manner of living, or style whet [wet] v. to make keen or eager; stimulate yoke [yohk] n. an agency of oppression, subjection, servitude, etc zealous [zel-uh s] adj. ardently active, devoted, or diligent act (akt) n. one of the main divisions of a play or opera. allegro (uh-leg-roh) adv. musical term for fast and lively. alto (al-toh) n. the range of the female voice between mezzo-soprano and contralto. andante (ahn-dahn-tey) adv. a musical term meaning in moderately slow time. antagonist (an-tag-o-nist) n. an adversary or opponent of the main character or protagonist in an opera, play, or other drama. aria (ahr-ee-uh) n. an operatic song for one voice. bar (bahr) n. a division of music containing a set number of beats. baritone (bar-i-tohn) n. the range of the male voice between tenor and bass. bass (beys) n. the lowest male singing voice. beat (beet) n. the basic pulse of a piece of music. chord (kord) n. a group of notes played at the same time in harmony. chorus (kawr-uhs) n. 1. a group of singers. 2. a piece of music for these. contralto (cuhn-tral-toh) n. the lowest female singing voice. flat (b) (flat) adj. a half-step lower than the corresponding note or key of natural pitch. forte (f) (for-tay) adv. loudly. fortissimo (ff) (for-tee-see-moh) adv. a musical term for very loud. key (kee) n. the basic note of the main scale used in a piece of music. In the key of G, for example, G is the fundamental note; the music often returns to it and comes to rest on it. largo (lahr-goh) adv. a musical term meaning in slow time and dignified style. leitmotiv (lahyt-mo-teev) n. a melodic passage or phrase associated with a specific character, situation, or element. libretto (li-bret-oh) n. the words of an opera or other long musical. major (mahy-jer) adj. music in a major key uses a major scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then another tone (for example, C, D, E). It often has a cheerful, strong sound. minor (my-ner) adj. music in a minor key uses a minor scale, in which the first three notes are the key note followed by intervals of a tone and then a semitone ( for example A, B, C). It often has a sad, melancholic sound. natural (nach-er-uhl) adj. a note that is neither flattened nor sharpened. octave (ok-tiv) n. a note that sounds twice as high in pitch as another, is an octave above the other note, and has the same letter naming it. opera (op-er-uh) n. a play in which the words are sung to musical accompaniment. orchestra (awr-keh-struh) n. a large body of people playing various musical instruments, including stringed and wind instruments. overture (oh-ver-chur) n. an orchestral composition forming a prelude to an opera or ballet. pianissimo (pp) (pee-ah-nees-ee-moh) adv. a musical term meaning very softly. piano (p) (pi-an-oh) 1. adv. a musical term meaning softly. 2. n. keyed percussion instrument first named pianoforte because it could play both softly and loudly. scale (skayl) n. a series of notes arranged in descending or ascending order of pitch. semitone (sem-i-tohn) n. a half step or half tone, an interval midway between two whole tones. sharp (#) (shahrp) n. any note a semitone higher than another note. Also, slightly too high in pitch. soprano (so-prah-noh) n. the highest female or boy's singing voice. stage (stayj) n. a platform on which a public performance is given before an audience. staging (stay-jing) n. the presentation or production on the stage. synopsis (si-nop-sis) n. a summary, a brief general survey. tone (tohn) n. 1. an interval equal to two semitones. 2. the sound quality of an instrument or voice. verismo (vuh-riz-moh) n. realism in opera.



Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to: Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening 1.1. Learning to Read Independently GRADE 5 D. Identify the basic ideas and facts in text using strategies (e.g., prior knowledge, illustrations and headings) and information from other sources to make predictions about text. 1.1.8. GRADE 8 E. Expand a reading vocabulary by identifying and correctly using idioms and words with literal and figurative meanings. Use a dictionary or related reference. 1.1.11. GRADE 11 H. Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading. Read a variety of genres and types of text. Demonstrate comprehension. 1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas. 1.3. Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature GRADE 5 E. Analyze drama as information source, entertainment, persuasion or transmitter of culture. 1.3.8. GRADE 8 E. Analyze drama to determine the reasons for a character’s actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character. 1.3.11. GRADE 11 E. Analyze how a scriptwriter’s use of words creates tone and mood, and how choice of words advances the theme or purpose of the work. 1.4. Types of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11. GRADE 5 A. Write poems, plays and multi-paragraph stories (GRADES 8 & 11 - and short stories). 1.4.5, 8, 11. C. Write persuasive pieces (Review of Opera Experience, p. 78). 1.5. Quality of Writing GRADES 5, 8, 11 A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus. 1.6. Speaking and Listening GRADES 5, 8, 11. B. Listen to selections of literature (fiction and/or nonfiction).C. Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations. F. Use media for learning purposes. 1.8. Research GRADES 5, 8, 11. A. Select and refine a topic for research. B. Locate information using appropriate sources and strategies. C. Organize, summarize and present the main ideas from research. Academic Standards for Mathematics 2.1. Numbers, Number Systems and Number Relationships 2.1.8. GRADE 8 A. Represent and use numbers in equivalent forms (e.g., integers, fractions, decimals, percents, exponents, scientific notation, square roots). 2.2. Computation and Estimation 2.2.5. GRADE 5 A. Create and solve word problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers. 2.5 Mathematical Problem Solving and Communication 2.5.11. GRADE 11 A. Select and use appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques from different areas of mathematics and apply them to solving non-routine and multi-step problems. Academic Standards for Science and Technology 3.1. Unifying Themes 3.1.10. GRADE 10 E. Describe patterns of change in nature, physical and man made systems. •Describe how fundamental science and technology concepts are used to solve practical problems (e. g., momentum, Newton’s laws of universal gravitation, tectonics, conservation of mass and energy, cell theory, theory of evolution, atomic theory, theory of relativity, Pasteur’s germ theory, relativity, heliocentric theory, gas laws, feedback systems). 3.2. Inquiry and Design GRADE 7 Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations. GRADE 10 Apply process knowledge and organize scientific and technological phenomena in varied ways. GRADE 12 Evaluate experimental information for appropriateness and adherence to relevant science processes. 3.3. Biological Sciences 3.3.10. GRADE 10 D. Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution. 3.7. Technological Devices 3.7.7. GRADE 7 E. Explain basic computer communications systems. Describe the organization and functions of the basic parts that make up the World Wide Web. (Check to see photos of the rehearsals and sets.) See Teacher’s Guide for additional science lessons. Academic Standards for Civics and Government 5.2. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship 5.2.12. GRADE 12 C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts. Academic Standards for Geography 7.1. Basic Geographic Literacy 7.1.6. GRADE 6 A. Describe geographic tools and their uses. •Basis on which maps, graphs and diagrams are created. 7.3. The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions 7.3.6. GRADE 6 B. Explain the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics. Academic Standards for History 8.2. Pennsylvania History 8.2.9. GRADE 9 8.2.12. GRADE 12 Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student... skills needed to analyze the interaction of cultural, economic, geographic, political and social relations to. A. Analyze the... cultural contributions of individuals... to Pennsylvania history from 1787 to 1914. • Cultural and Commercial Leaders (e.g., Academy of Music architects Napoleon Le Brun & Gustav Rungé, opera star Marian Anderson). 8.3. U.S. History 8.3.9 GRADE 9 B. Identify and analyze primary documents, material artifacts and historic sitesimportant in United States history from 1787 to 1914. • Historic Places (e. g., Academy of Music). 8.4. World History 8.4.6 GRADE 6 A. Identify and explain how individuals and groups made significant political and cultural contributions to world history. 8.4.12. GRADE 12 C. Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions since 1450 C.E. Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities 9.1. Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music,Theatre and Visual Arts A. Know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities. I. Know where arts events, performances and exhibitions occur and how to gain admission. 9.2. Historical and Cultural Contexts C. Relate works in the arts to varying styles and genre and to the periods in which they were created (e.g., Renaissance, Classical, Modern, Post-Modern, Contemporary...). D. Analyze a work of art from its historical and cultural perspective. E. Analyze how historical events and culture impact forms, techniques and purposes of works in the arts. F. Know and apply appropriate vocabulary used between social studies and the arts and humanities.

The School District of Philadelphia School Reform Commission Robert L. Archie Jr., Esq., Chairman

Sounds of Learning™ was established by a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation.

Denise McGregor Armbrister, member Joseph A. Dworetzky, member Amb. David F. Girard-diCarlo, Ret., member Johnny Irizarry, member Dr. Arlene C. Akerman Superintendent of Schools

Pamela Brown Interim Chief Academic Officer

Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D. Director of Comprehensive Arts Education

Opera Company of Philadelphia Robert B. Driver Artistic Director

Corrado Rovaris Music Director

David B. Devan

Dedicated funding for the Sounds of Learning™ program has been provided by: $20,000 to $49,999 Hamilton Family Foundation Lincoln Financial Group Foundation Presser Foundation Universal Health Services Anonymous

Director of Community Programs

Michael Bolton Director of Community Programs Matthew Milone Community Programs Intern

$10,000 to $19,999 The ARAMARK Charitable Fund at the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program Eugene Garfield Foundation GlaxoSmithKline The Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation Morgan Stanley Foundation Special thanks to: Robert B. Driver Dr. Dennis W. Creedon Creator, Sounds of Learning™ Curriculum Consultant

Laura Jacoby

Executive Director

Michael Bolton

Written and produced by: Opera Company of Philadelphia Community Programs Department ©2010 1420 Locust Street, Suite 210 Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A. 19102 Tel: (215) 893-3600 Fax: (215) 893-7801

$5,000 to $9,999 Silver Bridge Advisors Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation

Tullo Migliorini Kimmel Center Ushers Debra Malinics Advertising Design Concept

The Opera Company of Philadelphia is supported by major grants from The William Penn Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Lenfest Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Independence Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. The Opera Company of Philadelphia receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

$1,000 to $4,999 Bank of New York Mellon Citizens Bank Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation Louis N. Cassett Foundation The McLean Contributionship Mutual Fire Foundation

Kalnin Graphics Printing

Center City Film and Video R. A. Friedman The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Free Library of Philadelphia Print and Picture Department

2010 2011

Opera Company of Philadelphia

1420 Locust Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19102 T (215) 893-3600 F (215) 893-7801

OPERA at the Academy Otello

Romeo & Juliet


October 1, 3m, 6, 10m & 15

February 11, 13m, 16, 18 & 20m

April 29, May 1m, 4, 6 & 8m




OPERA @ the Perelman The Cunning Little Vixen * Phaedra March 16, 18 & 20m

June 3, 5m & 8



* The Kimmel Center Presents Curtis Opera Theatre’s production in association with Opera Company of Philadelphia