Graceful melodies, heart-stirring choruses and a deeply emotional, timeless story combine in Charles Gounod’s exquisite version of Shakespeare’s tragic Roméo et Juliette, on stage for four performances only, November 26 – December 3, 2011 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Famous for its love duets, exuberant party scene and beautiful portrayal of the play’s most iconic elements – the balcony scene, Mercutio’s “Queen Mab” speech and others –Roméo et Juliette is a tender, tragic and emotional adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved story.

Making her role début as Juliette will be Metropolitan Opera audition-winner Simone Osborne. Ms. Osborne’s soprano has been acclaimed for its “sweet and clear sound, sensitive phrasing and gleaming sustained high notes” (New York Times). Audiences have been “struck by the beauty of her voice, her innate musicality, and particularly the maturity and poise that belied her age” (La Scena Musicale).This is will be Ms. Osborne’s Vancouver Opera début.

Dashing tenor Gordon Gietz, last seen on the VO stage in 1996’s Jenufa, will sing Roméo. Mr. Gietz has been described as “splendid, with a beautiful, sturdy tenor voice touched by the heroic” (Edmonton Sun). “Young and idealistic, Gordon Gietz seems a perfect Hoffman, coping with all the heroic, poetic and bitter aspects of his music with radiant tone and excellent French…a full audience rapturously greeted this glorious production: opéra fantastique indeed.” (The Sunday Telegraph). Mr. Gietz appeared to acclaim on the Metropolitan Opera stage in last year’s production of The Nose.

Baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson, last seen on the VO stage in the world premiere of Lillian Alling in 2010, will sing Mercutio. Stéphano will be sung by mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne, who delighted crowds with her portrayal of Cherubino in 2010’s The Marriage of Figaro. Bass Peter Volpe will sing Frère Laurent and baritone John Avey will sing Capulet. Bass-baritone Chad Louwerse will sing Le Duc and tenor Antoine Bélanger will sing Tybalt.

The director is Allison Grant, most recently the Artistic Director at Theatre Athena in Waterloo, Ontario. Ms. Grant has directed or choreographed numerous plays, operas and musicals, including VO’s 2009 production of Eugene OneginJacques Lacombe will conduct the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and the Vancouver Opera Chorus (Leslie Dala, Associate Conductor and Chorus Director.)

Opening night is Saturday, November 26, 2011, with subsequent performances Tuesday, November 29; Thursday, December 1 and Saturday, December 3. All performances take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Georgia and Hamilton Streets, Vancouver, B.C. and begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are available exclusively through the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre, online at or by telephone (604-683-0222). See complete ticket information below.