Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 10:31 AM

When Vincenzo Bellini told the story of Romeo and Juliette, his libretto by Felice Romani was based not directly on Shakespeare’s version of events, but that of an earlier Italian librettist, Luigi Scevola. That led to few differences between their version and the more familiar one by Shakespeare. No balcony scene, for example.

As Bellini and Romani tell it, the emphasis is on the feuding families more than on the lovers, and especially the atmosphere of hatred they create.

Opera Circle executive director Dorota Sobieska says that difference is especially evident in one brief scene at the end, when blame for the lovers deaths is placed on Capellio, head of the Capulet family, father of Juliette, for setting the tone that fuelled their feud that led to their desperate plotting, and ultimately their death.

Sobieska plays Juliette in Opera Circle’s production, opening Friday at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislas in Slavic Village—a visually spectacular space she says will serve the production well.

“The set is built in,” Sobieska says. “It is natural” for many of the opera’s scenes—like waiting for a wedding, or a funeral. The funeral scene will be presented as a funeral in the church, with singers from Cleveland Central Catholic serving as the congregation in the funeral procession.

Italian Andrea Raffanini, a specialist in Bellini operas, came from Milan to conduct the production. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislas (3649 East 65th St.,, 216 441 2822). Tickets: $10 to $55.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Michael Gill

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation