A retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story

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A retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, this opera is Bellini’s poignant take on the tragedy and tenderness of young love and the rivalry between their families, the Capulets and the Montagues. This bel canto masterpiece I Capuleti e i Montecchi will be brought to stage in a collaboration between Cape Town Opera and UCT Opera School on 15, 17 and 18 May at Artscape Opera House.
Steven Stead directs and Jeremy Silver, Director of the UCT Opera School, conducts the UCT Symphony Orchestra, with designs by Michael Mitchell and Kobus Rossouw. The soloists – members of the much-admired Cape Town Opera Young Artists Programme, and UCT Opera School students – will perform along with the 30-member chorus. First staged at La Fenice in Venice in 1831, this early work from Bellini became an instant success after it had been composed over a remarkably short period of time to a libretto by Bellini’s favourite collaborator, Felice Romani. Bellini left behind so few operas that every one of his works is treasured, but a performance of I Capuleti e I Montecchi demonstrates that his musical gifts provide ample listening pleasure. A work that many agree isn’t staged often enough, this heart-rending piece tells a tale that’s widely known but seldom rendered with such beauty and sensitivity.
The lives of the star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet,  is well known and has been dramatised in many forms. This opera focuses on the very last part of the lovers’ lives, enabling Bellini’s exploration of the human psyche when placed under intense pressure in extreme crisis.
I Capuleti e i Montecchi will be sung in Italian with projected English and IsiXhosa translations. Performances take place May 15–18 at the Artscape Opera house. Tickets are available at Computicket outlets and online Computicket.com or by phone at +27 21 421 7695.

Italian costume display 10 May – 12 June
The year 2019 will be the Year of Italian Culture in Africa. On this occasion, several events will take place across the continent to celebrate and promote Italian culture. Opera is one of the most recognized Italian cultural products, and is especially popular in South Africa. Opera goers coming to Artscape to see I Capuleti e i Montecchi are invited to this exhibition which will be on display in the theatre foyers. The project is ideated and promoted by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Opera Theatre of Rome) in Italy with the aim of showcasing the masterpieces of Italian Opera as seen through the eyes of the artists that created the works used in Opera staging: costumes, posters, drawings and sketches of great masters like Giorgio De Chirico, Enrico Prampolini and William Kentridge.
This is Opera Theatre of Rome’s first exhibition in Africa, public will have the opportunity to experience the feel and the charm of Italian classical opera with original pieces which includes 12 full costumes, 60 sketches as well as some posters.

Our special thanks to the Friends of Cape Town Opera, Italian Cultural Institute, The embassy of Italy in Pretoria and the City of Cape Town.