Gounod’s romantic and rapturous music sets the stage for this tale of star-crossed lovers, based on Shakespeare’s play about the feuding Montague and Capulet families in Verona.
Roméo Montague and his friend Mercutio don masks to sneak into the Capulet’s ball, where Juliette Capulet has been presented to the party guests. Roméo falls instantly in love with Juliette, who fervently loves him back despite being pledged to marry Count Parîs. Juliette’s cousin Tybalt recognizes Roméo as he shares a tender moment with Juliette, but is prevented from attacking as Roméo and his friends flee.
Roméo and Juliette affirm their forever love in the iconic balcony scene. Outside the Capulet palace, Roméo breaks up a fight between Mercutio and Tybalt, asking him to forgive the feud between families. With nothing but scorn, Tybalt kills Mercutio and Roméo stabs Tybalt. Knowing their families will never get along, Roméo and Juliette plan to fake their deaths in a desperate attempt to be together, culminating in an ending for these lovers that is as tragic as it is heartbreakingly beautiful.
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