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Zingarelli: Romeo and Juliet


Opera in staged version
  • From Wednesday 18th to Sunday October 22nd 2023
  • Royal Opera
  • 2h15 with intermission
Accueil Zingarelli: Romeo and Juliet 2023


  • Franco Fagioli Romeo
  • Adèle Charvet Juliet
  • Krystian Adam Evrard
  • Valentino Buzza Théobald
  • Nicolò Balducci Gilbert
  • Florie Valiquette Mathilde
  • Chœur de l’Opéra Royal
  • Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal
  • Under the high patronage of Aline Foriel-Destezet
  • Stefan Plewniak Conductor
  • Gilles Rico Stage director
  • Roland Fontaine Sets
  • Christian Lacroix Costumes
  • Bertrand Couderc Lighting


Napoleon’s favourite Opera


Who could fail to be captivated by the love of Romeo and Juliet? Certainly not Napoleon, the great man of war with a little-known passion for the arts and Italian opera. Franco Fagioli and Adèle Charvet reform the formidable duo of the castrato Crescentini and contralto Grassini in this opera by Zingarelli.


Napoleon’s love of opera knew no bounds. Won over by the opera Romeo and Juliet, the great lover of music sent for a young Italian star, the contralto Giuseppina Grassini, and the most dazzling castrato, Girolamo Crescentini, the only singer ever to bring the Emperor to tears. Invited to France between 1806 and 1812, Crescentini put on glorious evening performances in the Imperial Chapel of the Tuileries, accompanied by Grassini, who was appointed Principal Singer to his Majesty the Emperor – and became his mistress.  Napoleon’s passion for music included Italian opera, as demonstrated by the 143 concerts by Italian soloists performed at the Court between 1810 and 1815!

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Grassini and Crescentini’s hobbyhorse was the opera Giulietta e Romeo by Zingarelli, premièred at La Scala in 1796 before being performed on numerous occasions in Paris before Napoleon by his two favourite singers. “They arouse heroism within me,” Napoleon would say. This duo of Empire stars comes back to life with Franco Fagioli and Adèle Charvet, resurrecting this opera by Zingarelli – one entirely forgotten despite triumphing throughout Europe for three decades thanks to a sumptuous Bel Canto. This is Napoleon’s Opera!

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An opera in three acts to a libretto by Giuseppe Maria Foppa, premièred at La Scala in Milan in 1796.


The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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And also…


Who was not seized by the love of Romeo and Juliet? Napoleon, that great man of war, who was said to be bloodthirsty, was no exception. Franco Fagioli and Adèle Charvet reunite the formidable duet of the castrato Crescentini and the adored Grassini in this opera made by Zingarelli as a tribute to this unknown Bonaparte, protector of the arts and lover of Italian opera.
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