New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Presents 'Romeo and Juliet' with Music Direction by Jacques Lacombe

By Jaime Prisco on Dec 16, 2014 10:42 AM EST

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and music director Jacques Lacombe present of trio of works inspired by Romeo and Juliet from Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev in Newark and New Brunswick.

The program will open the 2015 Winter Festival: Sounds of Shakespeare, which will be the first year of a two-season Winter Festival cycle showcasing music inspired by William Shakespeare. Actors from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will perform scenes from The Bard’s great tragedy while selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet are performed.

“I always find that collaborating with other art forms for musicians is very inspiring and exciting,” Lacombe says. “The program has an interesting structure. “It opens with Tchaikovsky, who weaves elements of the dramatic texture of the play into his [Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture] rather than trying to tell the story from beginning to end. Then, we have vocal soloists who will perform arias and a duet from [Gounod’s] Romeo and Juliet to give the audience musical scenes from the play.”

The NJSO annually features the Curtis Institute of Music’s finest student musicians. On this program, the NJSO welcomes soprano Rachel Sterrenberg and tenor Mingjie Lei, who perform the selections from Gounod as the annual Curtis Artists.

“The second half of the program brings in the actors, and we combine with the words of Shakespeare and the music of Prokofiev, which is a very powerful way to tell the arc of the story,” says Lacombe. “We all know Romeo and Juliet so deeply — it’s one of the main dramas of our civilization. To present that work in an original way will be very exciting.”

The 2015 Winter Festival, which runs Jan. 9 to 25, encompasses three concert programs led by Lacombe. The remaining two programs feature renowned violinist Sarah Chang, who performs Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite in all six NJSO venues statewide in a two-week residency.

For information on the Winter Festival or to purchase tickets, click here.

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TagsNew Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Romeo and Juliet, Jacques Lacombe, Shakespeare

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