The North Carolina Symphony invites Triangle audiences to discover another side of Shakespeare later this month. The orchestra, led by Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, takes a Shakespeare motto to heart - "If music be the food of love, play on" - to present the greatest musical works inspired by The Bard. These famous selections are paired with favorite Shakespeare scenes, as performed professional actors from the Triangle.
"Romeo and Juliet," part of the Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series, takes place at Cary's Booth Amphitheatre on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. Children 12 and under are admitted free for lawn seating.
The program presents "a wide range of styles and tastes and times," says Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn. "The composers are all interpreting Shakespeare in their own way."
Referring to the evening's first set of selections, Llewellyn adds, "Mendelssohn's incidental music from A Midsummer Night's Dream is as sparkling and gossamer as you can possibly imagine and yet Dvo?ák's Othello Overture is about as brooding as you can imagine. There is an incredible amount of repertoire out there, and I think this [program] gives audiences a wonderful taste."
The second half of the concert is devoted entirely to the title love story, offering the audience three legendary musical takes on literature's famous pair of star-crossed lovers. First, the orchestra presents music from the greatest contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare, the Overture from Leonard Bernstein's unforgettable score to West Side Story.
The program flows into a beautiful if appropriately tempestuous selection, The Montagues and the Capulets, from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, before a remarkable finish in Tchaikovsky's sumptuous Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture.