Kristina Mkhitaryan & Pene Pati to Headline San Diego Opera’s ‘Roméo et Juliette’

By Nicolas Quiroga
(Credit: Emil Matveev / Askonas Holt Official Website)

San Diego Opera is set to kick off 2022 with a production of Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette.”

The showcase, which opens on March 26 and runs through April 3, 2022 at the San Diego Civic Theater, will star tenor Pene Pati and the Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan (in her company debut) as the star-crossed lovers. Other cast members include  Adrian Kramer, Colin Ramsey, Yunpeng Wang, Sarah Coit, and Simon Lim, among others, all under the general direction of Principal Conductor Yves Abel.

The opera will be directed by Matthew Ozawa, who will work alongisde set designer William Boles, costume designer Sarah Bahr, and lighting designer Paul Whitaker.

“Gounod’s music is filled with a lush dreamy quality that almost places ‘Roméo et Juliette’ in a realm beyond that of the natural world,” Ozawa said of his new production. “As a result, while our symbolic production sets the story during the time of Shakespeare, it mixes dreamlike images which both capture the idealism of love (large roses) with the dangerous world of societal division (a ceiling of weapons). Just as love morphs as ‘Roméo et Juliette’s’ story develops, so too do the images of our show. Love, violence and death become intertwined, and time ultimately moves ‘Roméo et Juliette’ swiftly forward to a fate that is both poetic and tragic.”

This run represents the fourth time that the company presents the Gounod masterpiece following productions in 1973, 1998, and 2010.