This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience the Florida Grand Opera‘s French classic, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. The production was directed by David Lefkowich and I was impressed by the innovative light projection and multi-unit sets that drove the emotion behind the timeless tale of star-crossed lovers.
This exciting production stars French tenor Sébastien Guèze as Roméo. Called “one of the most promising young tenors of his generation” by Opera News, Guèze made his Florida Grand Opera debut in David DiChiera’s Cyrano at the close of the 2010-2011 season. There, he unveiled a new aria for the role of Christian, delivering it with “a real leading man’s voice … [and] a depth and emotional edge that gave the character a redeeming integrity,” according to South Florida Classical Review.
He is joined by the beautiful Mexican soprano María Alejandres as Juliette. Alejandres got her start in 2008, when she won Plácido Domingo’s internationally acclaimed opera and zarzuela competition, Operalia. She made her Florida Grand Opera debut as the lead in Lucia di Lammermoor in 2010 and has since sung the role of Juliette at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, and San Antonio Opera, showcasing what the Intermezzo opera blog called a “naturally gorgeous … [and] a big lustrous lyric soprano.”
A former Florida Grand Opera Young Artist, baritone Jonathan Michie returns as Mercutio. Last summer, he performed the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia as a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program. The San Francisco Chronicle described it as a “true musical and theatrical supernova … vehicle for both vocal mastery and theatrical panache. His singing was fluid, precise and full of burnished colors, and he brought a seemingly effortless charisma to everything he did.”
Known for his thoughtful and idiomatic interpretations, Joseph Mechavich makes his Florida Grand Opera debut as conductor. His work in Daytona Opera’s L’elisir d’amore is described as having “wrapped the whole performance in a kind of musically magic aura that resulted in one of the very best all-round productions ever…” says Opera News. Most recently, he conducted Calgary Opera’s Moby-Dick with critical acclaim.
The evening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts was romantic and magical. If you missed the show in Miami, you still have a chance to catch it in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts:
WHEN: May 10, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.
May 12, 2012, at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 SW Fifth Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $20 to $200 and can be purchased online here.