Last week I went to see the Romeo and Juliette opera but right on the next day I felt utterly sick and did not have a chance to share my experience with you. I went there with a friend of mine because she is a sucker for romantic things just like me. As soon as I told her I am going, she immediately decided to tag along which was nice especially when you know you are going to wait for a while.
We were there quite early and still there were so many people that I felt rather desperate – I thought we have no chance in getting good places. However, nothing is decided till the moment you buy your ticket and eventually everything turned out pretty well in the end.
I was stunned how many people were there before us since I did not expect it at all. Normally, the cases when a huge crowd gathers at the standing places are not that many. One of those can be if on the same night is the premier of the opera which was not the case (or if it a premier for the season), another reason is if there is somebody extremely famous that is either singing or conducting. I have witnessed queues of hundreds of people for Ana Netrebko or Plácido Domingo. The last thing that can lead to an extremely long waiting is if the opera is particularly favored amongst the regular visitors at the Vienna State Opera. Such productions are always operas from Wagner, very famous pieces, when tourists also come along or Fidelio which is the all-time favorite.
After we managed to mark our places we headed for a little break and after some time returned. We were talking, as two Asian girls approached our seats and tried to stand next to us. Warning! That is not to be done in any occasion. As long as you haven’t marked your place you have no business trying to squish in between people needless to say without asking as well. I felt rather outraged since we’ve waited for so long and these girls, with no shame, just tried to push us in. I asked if they intended to stay where they were, because of course they could’ve stand there just to take pictures but no, they thought it is okay to come five minutes before the performance start and get one of the best places there are – well my dear friends, that is not how it works.
After this little happening the opera began. And let me tell you, it was much, much more that I have expected. At the same night Juan Diego Flórez was playing the part of Romeo and sang beautifully as usual. He is taking part in quite a lot of productions this year. Earlier this season he was singing in Rigoletto, now Romeo and Juliet and later on in Don Pasquale.
Also the staging was so beautiful that I was quite honestly shocked. I had to check after that when was the last premier and it is more than ten years old which is rather surprising. It was a magic of color and sounds, so harmonized and balanced that leaves you breathless. Of course as you know the story is really dramatic and don’t worry if you end up sobbing, I sure did. My favorite music parts were the overture and Juliette’s “Non, non, ce n’est pas le jour”. So if you are wondering whether to see it or not, go and listen to those two I think it will help make up your mind pretty quickly.
(c) Roméo et Julliete/ wiener-staatsoper.at