Image: Johan Persson / Royal Opera House
The greatest love story of all, Romeo and Juliet, will be beamed to The Piazza at The University of Warwick live and free of charge for members of the public on Tuesday (22 September).
Warwick is the first university and the only place in the Midlands showing the Royal Opera House ballet performance, which starts at 7:30pm.
The production by Kenneth MacMillan – which was made famous by Prima Ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, who took 43 curtain calls at the premiere – will be presented for the big screen by Darcey Bussell. The screening is part of a series of live outdoor screenings from The Royal Opera House, performed live by the Royal Ballet.
The love-struck Romeo will be danced by Australian Principal Steven McRae whilst the beautiful Juliet will be danced by American Principal Sarah Lamb.
Rich in the swaggering colour and period costume of Verona Street life, the score, by Sergi Prokofiev, is famous for the spine-tingling ‘Dance of the Knights’. With sword fighting, romance and heartbreak, the drama takes the audience from the sumptuous ballroom of the Capulets, the sensational balcony pas de deux and to the stark tomb of the final doomed meeting of the lovers.
Back on stage 50 years after the first curtain up, the production will resonate on the silver screen due to MacMillan’s own love of film.
Lady MacMillan says: “Kenneth was a complete movie-nut; he loved film and it’s this passion that makes his productions work so well on the big screen. When choreographing he would pre-empt where audiences would look next, capturing the imagination with every movement and it’s this innate sense of what would work on camera that so often drove his vision for the stage. He also believed in creating real characters with real stories and in a ballet such as Romeo and Juliet the heartbreak and passion will be all the more evident up-close and personal in cinemas.”
In 2014, over 47,000 people around the country people watched an ROH performance on a Big Screen. The broadcasts are taking place in 21 locations across the country.
Alexa Tamsett, who is a Royal Opera House Student Ambassador at Warwick, said: “I'm very excited to see an event like this come to the university. The Piazza, which is an incredible hub for students and the local community, is the perfect place for it to take place.
“Through the ROH Student Scheme I've already seen what easy-access to opera and ballet can do, inspiring a passion for the arts in people who had never even thought about seeing an opera or ballet before.
“It's a snowball effect really; once you've seen one performance by the Royal Opera House, you're hooked! I can't wait to see what events such as these, in so perfect a setting, can do.”
For more information about the screenings at the University of Warwick and details of how to get involved visit: www.roh.org.uk/about/bp-big-screens/university-of-warwick.
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166