Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev)
"Romeo and Juliet" (Op. 64) ( _ru. Ромео и Джульетта) is a
balletby Sergei Prokofievbased on William Shakespeare's play " Romeo and Juliet". Music from the ballet was extracted by Prokofiev as three suites for orchestraand as a piano work.
The ballet was thought to have been composed around
1935or 1936, on commission by the Kirov Ballet. The original version had a "happy" ending, but was never publicly mounted, partly due to increased fear and caution in the musical and theatrical community in the aftermath of the two notorious " Pravda" editorials criticising Shostakovich and other "degenerate modernists". Suites of the ballet music were heard in Moscowand the United States, but the full ballet premiered in Brno, Czechoslovakia, on 30 December 1938. It is better known today from the significantly revised version that was first presented at the Kirovin Leningradon 11 January 1940, with choreography by Leonid Lavrovsky. Prokofiev objected to this version.
1962 John Cranko's choreography of "Romeo and Juliet" for the Stuttgart Ballethelped the company achieve a worldwide reputation. It had its American premiere in 1969.
Joffrey Balletpresented the first American production in its 1984- 1985season, including performances in New York Cityat the New York State Theaterand in Washington, D.C.at the Kennedy Center.
1965choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan's production for the Royal Balletpremiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Margot Fonteynand Rudolph Nureyevbrought new life to the characters, as did the set and costume designs by Nicholas Georgiadis; Fonteyn, considered to be near retirement, embarked upon a rejuvenated career with a partnership with Nureyev.
2007 Peter Martinsmade "Romeo + Juliet" on New York City Balletto the Prokofiev music.
On July 4,
2008, with the approval of the Prokofiev family and permission from the Russian State Archive, the original Prokofiev score was given its world premiere as the composer intended. Mark Morriscreated the choreography for the production. The Mark Morris Dance Group premiered the work at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard Collegein New York state. The production subsequently began a year-long tour (in progress as this is written) to include Berkeley, London, New York, and Chicago.
; Act I :: Scene 1 :: No 1 Introduction :: No 2
Romeo:: No 3 The street awakens :: No 4 Morning Dance :: No 5 The Quarrel :: No 6 The Fight :: No 7 The Prince gives his order :: No 8 Interlude: Scene 2 :: No 9 Preparing for the Ball (Juliet and the Nurse) :: No 10 Juliet as a young girl :: No 11 Arrival of the guests ( Minuet) :: No 12 Masks :: No 13 Dance of the Knights:: No 14 Juliet's Variation :: No 15 Mercutio:: No 16 Madrigal :: No 17 Tybalt recognizes Romeo :: No 18 Departure of the guests ( Gavotte) :: No 19 Balcony : Scene :: No 20 Romeo's Variation :: No 21 Love Dance ; Act II : Scene 1 :: No 22 Folk Dance :: No 23 Romeo and Mercutio :: No 24 Dance of the five couples :: No 25 Dance with the mandolins :: No 26 The Nurse :: No 27 The Nurse gives Romeo the note from Juliet : Scene 2 :: No 28 Romeo with Friar Laurence:: No 29 Juliet with Friar Laurence : Scene 3 :: No 30 The people continue to make merry :: No 31 A Folk Dance again :: No 32 Tybaltmeets Mercutio :: No 33 Tybalt and Mercutio fight :: No 34 Mercutio dies :: No 35 Romeo decides to avenge Mercutio's death :: No 36 Finale ; Act III : Scene 1 :: No 37 Introduction:: No 38 Romeo and Juliet (Juliet's bedroom) :: No 39 The last farewell :: No 40 The Nurse :: No 41 Juliet refuses to marry Paris :: No 42 Juliet alone :: No 43 Interlude : Scene 2 :: No 44 At Friar Laurence's :: No 45 Interlude : Scene 3 :: No 46 Again in Juliet's bedroom :: No 47 Juliet alone :: No 48 Morning Serenade :: No 49 Dance of the girls with the lilies :: No 50 At Juliet's bedside ; Epilogue ::: No 51 Juliet's funeral :: No 52 Death of Juliet
In addition to a somewhat standard instrumentation, the ballet also requires the use of the tenor
saxophone. This voice adds a unique sound to the orchestra as it is used both in solo and as part of the ensemble. Prokofiev also used the cornet, viola d'amoreand mandolins in the ballet, adding a medieval flavor to the music.
Orchestral suites extracted from "Romeo and Juliet"
uite No. 1 from "Romeo and Juliet", Op. 64bis
# Folk Dance
# Scene (the Street Awakens)
# Minuet (the Arrival of the Guests)
# Romeo and Juliet
# Death of Tybalt
uite No. 2 from "Romeo and Juliet", Op. 64ter
# Montagues and Capulets
# Juliet the Young Girl
# Friar Laurence
# Romeo and Juliet Before Parting
# Dance of the Antilles Girls
# Romeo at Juliet's Grave
uite No. 3 from "Romeo and Juliet", Op. 101
# Romeo at the Fountain
# Morning Dance
# The Nurse
# The Death of Juliet...
Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 75
Prokofiev reduced selected music from the ballet in
1937as Romeo and Juliet: Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 75, which he premiered himself later that year.
# Folk Dance
# Scene: The Street Awakens
Minuet: Arrival of the Guests
# Juliet as a Young Girl
# Montagues and Capulets
# Friar Laurence
# Dance of the Girls with Lilies
# Romeo and Juliet before Parting
* [http://www.musicweb.uk.net/Programme_Notes/prokofiev_juliet.htm Notes by Paul Serotsky]
* [http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/exploring/randj/connections/performing/ballet_prokofiev.html "Romeo and Juliet": production histories]
* [http://www.nureyev.org/choreography/romeo-and-juliet-rudolf-nureyev Romeo and Juliet] The ballet choreography by Rudolf Nureyev
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E1DB1139F934A35750C0A963948260&sec=&pagewanted=print March 7, 1985 NY Times review by
* [http://LoveLives.net "Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare": website on first production using the original Prokofiev score]
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