Author: Mrs Betty Haslam
Steven Oliver`s direction of Bellini`s version of the famous love story Romeo and Juliet Capulets & Montagues was in semi modern dress. Musical Director Lewis Gaston conducted the orchestra in a very complimentary way which enhanced the performers voices. The five principal characters, Capellio (James Davis) leader of the Capuleti a very good portrayal of role, with his excellent baritone voice and perfect diction. Similarly Lorenzo (John Mills) the doctor and retainer of the Capuleti, his bass baritone voice, and perfect diction were a joy to listen to, complimenting a very good acting perfomance. Romeo (Alexia Mankovskaya) leader of the Montecchi, played by a woman her mezzo soprano singing and her acting were of a very high standard Tebaldo (Jack Tebbutt) betrothed to Gillette, clad from head to toe in black leather was in total command of the role displaying his acting talents along with a strong Tenor voice. Her acting and interpretation of the commanding role by the would-be bride to be Giulietti (Callie Swarbrick) was excellent, her soprano voice blended well with Romeo`s mezzo soprano. The story of the feud between the two leaders of the houses had a proposition put before Capellio by Romeo was rejected namely by Tebaldo who was anxious to go ahead with the wedding. Meanwhile Lorenzo arranges for the two lovers to meet, Giulietta in the meantime is getting ready for her impending wedding to Tebaldo dismisses her servants when told of her secret meeting with Romeo, who tries to persuade her to escape bringing with him a set of clothes as a disguise As the story enfolds the two rival lovers fight a duel with knives which was very dramatic and well performed. Lorenzo perused Giulietta to take a sleeping drug to vain death. Romeo discovers what has happened and at the vault asked to be left alone to say his goodbyes to his love, he then drinks poison so they could be together in death she suddenly wakes to find her lover dying and is so distraught she stabs herself and the opera ends with the two lovers dying in each other’s arms. A sad ending but a superb production of this well know love story. Mike Read's set design was in keeping with this production in a simple way with two marble pillars and a shield depicting the house of the Capulets enhanced by the clever lighting designed and operated by John Whitehead. Stage Manager Dawn and her backstage crew gave good support to the cast.
Capulets and Montagues - November 2015