Odyssey: Gounod's 'Romeo et Juliet'

After the popular success of his Faust in 1859, Charles Gounod had become the most noted French composer of his time. The theater that had premiered that opera, the Théâtre Lyrique, turned to him again for a new work to be premiered during the time of the Paris International Exhibition of 1867. This time the story selected was Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The result was an opera that in modern times has perhaps surpassed Faust in number of productions.

This handling of the stormy and tragic tale of the young lovers is full of excitement and the expected conflicts between the warring families, but Gounod's opera is loved especially for the four duets of the title characters. From their meeting at the ball to the famous death scene, Gounod has created melodies that seem to speak of youth.

This class will attempt to assess Gounod's position as an operatic composer and will discuss how other operatic composers have set Shakespearean themes as well.

912.442.01 Homewood campus Saturday, April 30 & May 7, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $52

912.442.02 classes w/performance option: Sunday, May 15, 3 p.m. Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric Cost: $182