I’m excited to share news of my next project – one that lets me strengthen the connection between my roots in classical theatre and my present passion for opera.

(Note: In case you’re annoyed or bored by blocks of text, or have already determined to come to this show and just want to know when and where it will be, I’ve included a flyer with all the information at the bottom of this post.)

A year or so ago, colleagues of mine began adapting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Bellini’s opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi to form a hybrid in which the performers move seamlessly between speaking the English text and singing the Italian opera. To test the concept, an hour-long condensed version was performed last October featuring only a Romeo, a Juliet, and one actor as the other characters.

In the full version, which will premiere in 2015, I’ve been invited to play the role of Romeo’s Page and understudy Juliet. ​To raise interest (and hopefully some seed money) in the meantime, the condensed version is being brought back as a fundraiser this October – and I’ll be performing as Juliet!

Along with the prospects of wearing beautiful costumes, singing rapturous music, and dying on stage, one of the things that excites me most about this project is working with our director, Deborah Wright Houston (former artistic director of Kings County Shakespeare Company). Since both Romeo and Juliet have sizable amounts of singing and speaking to do, I’m grateful to have Deborah’s guidance as I sink my teeth back into Shakespeare.

Performances are Friday, October 10th at 8pm and Sunday, October 12th at 3pm.
The venue is the Chapel at Ascension Convent (Grace House), 218 West 108th St., 10025.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for seniors and students. It’s always helpful for me to know how many people are planning to attend, so please reply to this email if you’d like to reserve seats in advance.

To conclude this excitement-driven wordpalooza:
I hope you can make it to one of these performances. Rehearsing has been a gratifying experience so far, and I think we may have a magnificent show. I would love to share it with you.

All my best,

PS. If you’ve seen me perform before, you’re likely to recognize others in this cast. Our Romeo is Hayden DeWitt, who’s performed with me in “Replenished Repertoire” and last summer’s Orfeo ed Euridice (among other things). Filling out the cast as “everyone else” is actor Max Singer, who I’ve known since Oliver! and worked with most recently in The Rivals. Our pianist for the performance is Cathy Venable, who accompanied my Homecoming Concert at the beginning of September.


One thought on “Shakespeare meets Bellini

  1. I hope your Shakespeare/Bellini project goes well.

    My Romeo&Juliet will always be the 1968 Franco Zefferelli production with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting.

    My late wife, Norma, liked to sing pieces from Bellini’s Norma and was quite good at it.

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