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07. Dec


Roméo et Juliette

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869) / Sasha Waltz

Informationen Zum Werk

Symphonie dramatique avec chœurs; Libretto by Émile Deschamps, based on William Shakespeare's tragedy; First performed on 24th November, 1839 at Salle du Conservatoire in Paris; Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 18th April, 2015

In French language with German and English surtitles

1 hour 45 mins / no interval

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance


Stage director and Choreographer

Sasha Waltz

Stage design

Pia Maier Schriever

Stage design

Thomas Schenk

Stage design

Sasha Waltz

Costume design

Bernd Skodzig

Light design

David Finn

Chorus Master

Jeremy Bines

About the performance

Since its world premiere on 24th November 1839 at the Paris Conservatory, Berlioz’ dramatic symphony “Roméo et Juliette” has secured its reputation as one of the most important, genre-overlapping symphonic works of the 19th century. Written not long after Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in D minor op. 125, it had a seminal effect on composers such as Gustav Mahler, whose grand choral symphonies would be unimaginable without Berlioz’ expansion of the musical vocabulary, and Richard Wagner, who was present at the last of the three premiere performances of the “Symphonie dramatique” in Paris. Not known for his verbal reticence, Wagner was at first speechless: “I was lost in sound, hearing things that were quite new to me and which I now had to get my head around.” He was particularly taken by the “fantastic boldness and sharp precision” and “audacious combinations” of a work that was by turns symphony, cantata, ballet music and opera. Over 20 years later he sent Berlioz the first print of his TRISTAN AND ISOLDE score with the following dedication: “To the dear and great author of Roméo et Juliette”.

Sasha Waltz’ 2007 production of ROMEO ET JULIETTE for the Opéra National de Paris was the Berlin choreographer’s third work for the opera stage after DIDO AND AENEAS [2005] and MEDEA [2007], new versions of which she later produced for Milan and Berlin. Inspired by Berlioz’ theatre music, her choreography explores the interplay of love and death and presents a tragic fate that still allows for hope. For their respective families the sacrifice of the young lovers means the chance of a new beginning: “The dance of death becomes a dance of life.”

Our thanks to our partners

A Coproduction with Teatro alla Scala di Milano and Sasha Waltz & Guests. Premiered on 19th December, 2012 at the Teatro alla Scala di Milano. Sasha Waltz & Guests is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and Senate Chancellery Berlin - Cultural Affairs.



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