Der Neue Merker

POLAND/Bytom: Twice the „MERCI” – PREMIERE: „Romeo and Juliet” (Gounod) at the Silesian Opera in Bytom.

POLAND/Bytom: Twice the „MERCI” – PREMIERE: „Romeo and Juliet” The Gounoda Choir at the Silesian Opera in Bytom.

Foto: Krzysztof Bieliński

When picking my standing spot out of all the spots in the auditorium, I did not know that I would feel through the spectacle as if I won a lottery ticket.
From the first sight of the illuminated scenography, the first bars of the musical overture, from the first words sung out by the artists, you could feel engrossed by the spectacle so much that you didn’t even feel like taking your seat, and as soon as the idea to do so crossed your mind, the words coming from the staged called upon you: „Stand up!…”, and instantly did you follow the atmosphere surrounding you. This was the way that throughout the spectacle did you pay reverence to all of its executors because to arrange the spectacle atmosphere in such a way that it makes a unified organism, in addition being interlinked with the audience, can be achieved by the best only.

Ewa_Majcherczyk_Andrzej_Lampert, foto Krzysztof Bieliński
Ewa Majcherczyk as Juliet and Andrzej Lampert as Romeo. Foto: Krzysztof Bieliński

Why should the „Romeo and Juliet“ spectacle, put up at the Silesian Opera in Bytom, be watched in both its versions, with one and the other cast starring? In my opinion, both casts were thought through in such a way that each of them enhanced other facets of the drama.
The first, premiere cast, i.e.: Ewa Majcherczyk as Juliet, and Andrzej Lampert as Romeo, created their play characters in such a way that their relationships, conversations, encounters, and feelings made the foreground, while everything else became less important, making the background of their beautiful story, and hence gave a warm touch to this Shakespearean story.

In the case of the second cast, i.e. : Ewelina Szybilska as Juliet, and Sang Jun Lee as Romeo, the characters were directed by the director and the artists themselves in such a way that it were the conflicts and disputes as well as the problems derived from them that made the foreground of the story that the couple had to make through, doing so with success.

It was no sooner than when you watched both premieres that you had the feeling of having learned the entire story, told over two nights with great tastefulness, and the sense of not just beauty, but also relevant life values to it.

Ewa_Majcherczyk_Andrzej_Lapmert, fot. Krzysztof_Bieliński
Ewa Majcherczyk as Juliet, and Andrzej Lampert as RomeoFoto: Krzysztof Bieliński

The story was told also by:
The Choir – craftily hidden by the play director in the castle, voyeuring, providing commentary, murmuring,
The Ballet – the ball scene perfectly enhances the haughtiness and eminence of the Capulets,
and the other artists without whom it would be impossible to tell the story:
Friar Laurence – Bogdan Kurowski, Marcutio – Paweł Konik / Kamil  Zdebel, Stefano – Michał Sławecki / Anna Noworzyn-Sławińska , Capulet – Zbigniew Wunsch / Cezary Biesiadecki, Tybalt – Maciej Komandera, The Nurse – Iwona Noszczyk / Renata Dobosz, Count Paris – Łukasz Klimczak, Gregorio – Włodzimierz Skalski / Wojciech Paczyński, Benvolio – Grzegorz Biernacki / Hubert Miśka, Queen Mab  – Jadwiga Krowiak.

There also were children, as it is with the playing children, i.e. Romeo and Juliet, that the whole spectacle begins, and with the children, i.e. Romeo and Juliet’s souls, ends, or is it, as perhaps it begins anew?

Ewa Majcherczyk as Juliet. Foto: Krzysztof Bieliński

Bravo, Michał Znaniecki i Luigi Scoglio. That was it! Perfect stage managing, costumes, and remarkably well-balanced scenography. Twice the „Merci”. Bravo for the choreography (Elżbieta Pańtak, Grzegorz Pańtak), and the production of lights that competed the play overall: Bogumił Palewicz – twice the „Merci”.
Kudos also go to those without whom the play could not take place – congratulations to the orchestra of the Opera Theatre in Bytom, and the musical manager, Bassem Akiki. How the orchestra plays under the conduct by the new artistic director of the Silesian Opera, that you have to listen to on your own.
Rising up from their seats, the audience said: It was worth it. Twice the „Merci”.

Iwona Karpińska

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