Few people today haven’t heard of the story of Romeo and Juliet. It is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in 1597 that tells the story of two young lovers: Romeo and Juliet, who belong to feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets, and have become a literary archetype of the ill-starred couple. It is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, as well as being the most often performed. Although the story is part of a long tradition of tragic romances that hails back to ancient times, the plot is based on Arthur Brooke’s English translation of The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562) by the Italian writer Matteo Bandello , conducted, which was, in turn, based on the 1559 French translation by Pierre Boaistuau. Another version was a 1582 prose text by William Painter, based on Italian and French tales, which was published in a compendium of stories under the title Palace of Pleasure.
Shakespeare took elements from both works though in order to expand the story he also created new secondary characters like Mercutio and Paris. Some sources state that he began writing the play in 1591, finishing it in 1595. However, others maintain the hypothesis that he finished writing it in 1597. What is a fact is that it one of the most famous works in literary history, and now the Liceu To whet our appetites for next month's premiere of Bellini's opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi, the Liceu opera house proposes a tour of the different versions of this quintessentially Romantic drama. Both the 19th century – Berlioz and Tchaikovsky – and the 20th – Prokofiev and Bernstein – will be included in the itinerary.
Around Romeo and Juliet at Liceu
When: 3 April.
Where: Teatre del Liceu.
Price: €10 to €91.
Additional information is available here.
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