Public Square Scene

PERFORMANCE: Romeo & Juliet
PERFORMERS: Joseph Legaspi

Thursday, October 8, 2009; 04:10 PM - by BWW News Desk
Indiana University Opera Theater continues its 2009-10 season with the timeless Romeo et Juliette, by Charles Gounod, opening Oct. 23 at the Musical Arts Center. The Indiana University Opera Theater will present Romeo et Juliette on Oct. 23, 24, 30, 31 at 8 p.m.

The company has produced this work only twice before, in 1966 and in 2005.Acclaimed stage director Michael Ehrman -- who directed IU Opera's all new 2005 production of the work -- returns for an encore. Ehrman is a frequent guest director for the Jacobs School of Music, with some of his past works including Faust, The Ballad of Baby Doe, Manon, Susannah and Le Nozze Di Figaro.

Ehrman's staging of this classic tale promises plenty of action and drama, as he integrates both fight and dance choreography in scenes ranging from large crowds to the couple's tender moments, even managing to throw in a bit of humor.

This year's production will also feature the original set design Jacobs Professor C. David Higgins created in 2005. Using an architectural facade in Renaissance style with tower units creating a sort of proscenium, the stage center morphs into various scenes -- from regal grand hall to manicured garden to street to tomb and then some. He believes that the scenery is akin to the beautifully romantic and grand music.

Returning guest conductor Ronald Zollman will lead the IU Philharmonic Orchestra through the sumptuous score, featuring swirling waltzes, dramatic choruses and sublime duets.

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