Berlioz Roméo et Juliette
May 4 - May 7, 2011
For the final concerts of the 2010-2011 BSO season, Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit leads one of the great works in the French repertoire central to the Boston Symphony legacy, Hector Berlioz’s “dramatic symphony” Roméo et Juliette, based on Shakespeare’s play. Of this work the composer wrote, “it is neither a concert opera nor a cantata, but a symphony with choruses,” reflecting the fact that, despite the presence of voices, Berlioz intended the orchestral music—including movements inspired by the grand ball at the home of the Capulets, where the lovers meet; by Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene, and by Mercutio’s “Queen Mab” speech—to carry the expressive weight of the drama. One of his most ambitious pieces, Roméo et Juliette was completed in 1839 after years of work, and became one of Berlioz’s greatest successes with the public.