2

Spectacles

P. Tchaikovsky
Romeo
& Julliet
Ballet in two acts
Libretto by Elizaveta Menshchikova and Pavel Elkinl on the play by W. Shakespeare

Choreographer: Elizabeth Menshikova

Production Designer: Elizabeth Menshikova and Pavel Elkin

Director – Pavel Elkin

“There is no sadder story in the world than the story of Romeo and Juliet” …

W. Shakespeare

Act I

Early morning …

Little by little, the area is filling with people.

Tybalt rushes with a sword on Mercutio and forces him to defend himself. Quiet and peaceful area becomes the scene of a battle between the Montagues and the Capulets. Swords сrossed!

The Duke of Verona appears in the square. He commands them to drop their arms and declares that anyone baring arms in the streets of Verona would be sentenced to death.

Juliet playfully teases her old nurse, who is helping her to dress for the ball. Juliet’s mother appears. She rebukes her daughter’s childish pranks, brings her to the mirror: she convinces Juliet that she is no longer a child but a woman grown.

Guests solemnly march to the ball across the Capulets’ yard. Paris is among them.

Witty Mercutio persuades Romeo to go to the ball to the Capulets. To remain unrecognized, young Montague put on masks and head to the festival.

The ball at the Capulet house commences. Romeo and Mercutio enter the hall while Juliet is dancing beautifully. Romeo is struck by her beauty.

Tybalt distracts Paris from Juliet, and Romeo takes an opportunity and comes to the girl. He does not hide his delight and admiration. Accidentally fallen mask reveals his face to Juliet. However Tybalt recognizes Romeo and the latter for fear of possible complications leaves the house in a hurry.

Juliet is still under the impression of the encounter with Romeo. Who is this handsome young man? Juliet’s nurse explains that guest who appeals her so much is the son of Montague, Capulet’s blood enemy.

Night falls. Juliet is standing on the balcony and dreaming of Romeo. Romeo appears. They confess their love to each other and swear allegiance.

Act II

Tybalt, Paris and guests of Capulet family make a stag night in honor of the upcoming engagement of Paris and Juliet. Wine flows in streams and joy overwhelms everyone present at the celebration.

In his monastic cell Father Lorenzo spends his days. Romeo begs him secretly to seal an alliance between him and Juliet. The friar promises to help, hoping that this marriage will reconcile the Montagues and the Capulets. Juliet appears. Lorenzo performs a wedding ceremony. 

Mercutio and his friends are having fun. Tybalt sees his enemies, he draws his sword and rushes at Mercutio. Romeo wants to make peace between them, but to no avail. Tybalt and Mercutio start a fight. Romeo tries to part them, but Tybalt, seizing the moment, strikes Mercutio with a mortal blow.

Death of his friend makes Romeo furious. He draws his sword and challanges Tybalt to a duel and then kills him.

Relatives of the slain gather round his dead body and swear vengeance on the House of Montague.

Romeo has to bid a farewell to Juliet. He is banished from Verona. Rays of morning sun burst into the room. The day has come – there is no time to waste! Romeo says goodbye to his beloved. Juliet’s nurse tries to comfort her, but to no avail. There come Juliet’s parents and Paris. Juliet learns of her wedding and listens to the groom’s declarations of love, however she resolutely refuses to submit to the will of her parents. Paris leaves and Juliet’s parents shower her with reproaches. The will of the Capulets is inflexible. Desperate, Juliet decides to ask Father Lorenzo an advise.

Touched by girl’s boundless love for Romeo, Father gives her a drug: after drinking it Juliet will fall asleep and everyone will decide that she is dead. According to a custom, her body will be lain in an open coffin and into the ancient crypt of the Capulets.

Crowded in the Verona’s cemetery, everyone bids farewell to Juliet and leaves in sadness.

It is getting dark. Romeo appears. He can not take his eyes off his beloved. She’s dead – and life has lost meaning for him. Romeo drinks the poison and falls dead at her feet. Juliet wakes up to see Romeo dead. She leans towards him. Boys lips are already cold. Juliet takes Romeo’s dagger and gets herself a mortal blow.

… The people are assembled at the cemetery. In a daze the aged Montagues and Capulets watch bodies of their dead children. Silently they hold out their hands to each other… Long-term and bloody feud have been put to an end at the cost of the two young lovers.

But Romeo and Juliet will live forever, thanks to their love!