IU Opera Theater’s Tale of Star-Cross’d Lovers

It’s only the third time that the Indiana University Opera Theater has done "Romeo et Juliette."

Indiana University Opera Theater’s 2009-20010 season features Charles Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. Graduate students Lacy Sauter and John Mathews are two of the leads .

“Juliette’s vocal role is especially challenging,” said Sauter. “It starts out with arias that exploit the coloratura, the high flexible parts of the voice and then by the end its lower and more dramatic. Actually, this happened because it was written for two different sopranos,” Sauter explained.

“Romeo is pretty much a standard French tenor role,” said Mathews. “I’ve had quite a bit of experience with this style. Sometimes, it’s a little frustrating because the singing has to be fluently mixed with speaking and the singing sections can be pretty brief. However, in this opera Gounod gives the tenor some of the most gorgeous extended examples of this style.”

Both Sauter and Mathews bring a background of stage work to their opera roles.

“I got started in musical theater,” said Sauter.“I’ve probably done fifteen or twenty musicals. So acting, singing and even dancing are very much a part of my background.

Mathews echoed her comments. “From early on, I was in youth theater and later worked with local companies. As I’ve focused more on the singing the opera has dominated, but I’m well aware that there are a lot of good singers out there. If you can act as well as sing, you’re going to be much more successful.”

It’s only the third time that the Indiana University Opera Theater has done Romeo et Juliette. This production uses the sets and costumes that C. David Higgins designed for 2005. Michael Ehrman who was the stage director then is back again. The conductor is frequent IU guest Ronald Zollman.

Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod

Indiana University Opera Theater

Oct 23, 24, 30 and 31

Listen to a review by WFIU’s George Walker.

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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  • Jeffery

    And what of Daniel Shirley as Romeo???????

  • Jon Matthews

    Jeffery, Dan was not available for the interview. He sings the 24th and 30th with Stephanie Washington as Juliette.

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