Rosa Feola & Adam Smith Lead Washington National Opera’s ‘Roméo et Juliette’

By Francisco Salazar

The Washington National Opera is set to present Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” between Nov. 4 and 18, 2023.

The new production will be directed by one of the foremost Shakespeare directors, Simon Godwin, in his opera staging debut.

Principal Conductor Evan Rogister will lead the work with Italian soprano Rosa Feola as Juliette and British tenor Adam Smith as Romeo. Justin Austin will perform the role of Mercutio alongside Duke Kim as Tybalt.

In a statement, Godwin said, “music leads everything—tempo, emotion, character. I’m interested in music’s ability to expand or shrink the visual. The music becomes a kind of camera allowing us to sweep in and out of this exhilarating and momentous journey.”

Meanwhile, Rogister noted, “By its very nature, opera is an interplay of words and music. But rarely is a score as inspired by text as Romeo and Juliet. In four gorgeous duets written for the star-crossed lovers, Gounod captures the arc of their relationship from infatuation to deep love, from a dream-state to tragedy.”