Given its premiere by The Royal Ballet in 1965 with Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn dancing the title roles, Kenneth MacMillan's first full-evening ballet has become a signature work for the Company. From the outset, the production teems with life and colour as the townspeople, market traders and servants of the rival Montagues and Capulets go about their daily business in vibrant crowd scenes. But Romeo and Juliet take centre stage for those great pas de deux: the meeting in the ballroom, the balcony scene, the morning after the wedding and the final devastating tomb scene.
Although The Royal Ballet has performed Romeo and Juliet more than 400 times, each performance and pairing is subtly different, and Lauren Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli are utterly captivating in the title roles.
Romeo: Federico Bonelli Juliet: Lauren Cuthbertson Mercutio: Alexander Campbell Tybalt: Bennet Gartside Benvolio: Dawid Trzensimiech Paris: Valeri Hristov Lord Capulet: Christopher Saunders Lady Capulet: Christina Arestis Escalus Prince of Verona: Gary Avis Artists of The Royal Ballet
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Conductor: Barry Wordsworth Music: Sergey Prokofiev Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan Designs: Nicholas Georgiadis Lighting:John B. Read Plus: Documentary: Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet; Sword Fighting: Sharp Points and Pirouettes; Cast Gallery
Picture: 16:9 Sound: 2.0 LPCM / 5.1 (5.0) DTS Duration: 158 mins Region code: 0 (worldwide) Format: NTSC Year: 2012
"... [the] performance exemplified the Royal Ballet's high standards of seamless, naturalistic and musically attentive dance acting."New York Times
"... dance quality in this performance was technically exemplary at every rank in the cast hierarchy. No detail was left unpolished, from the magnificence of the ballroom scene to the market place, which was imbued with plenty of colour and dynamism from the harlots in particular." Independent Dance Reviews
"Such is the breathtaking impact of this production, with consistent excellence to savour from both principals and the corps, magnificent costumes and stage scenery and spot-on camera direction from Ross MacGibbon that criticism is effectively silenced. If you have been waiting for a truly outstanding Romeo and Juliet to appear on Blu-ray, then look no further."International Record Review