Table of contents ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
A chorus introduces the story of the endless feud
between the Montague and Capulet families, and of
the love between their children, Roméo and
I. Verona, 14th century. At a masked ball at
the Capulet palace, Tybalt waits for his cousin
Juliette and assures her suitor, Count Paris, that
her beauty will overwhelm him. Capulet presents
his daughter to the guests and invites them to dance.
The crowd disperses and Roméo, a Montague,
enters with his friends Mercutio and Benvolio. He
tells them about a strange dream he has had, but
Mercutio dismisses it as the work of the fairy Queen
Mab (Mab, reine des mensonges). Roméo
watches Juliette dance and is instantly entranced
with her. Juliette tells her nurse that she is not
interested in marriage (Je veux vivre),
but when Roméo approaches her, both feel
that they are meant for each other. Just as they
discover each others identity, Tybalt returns.
Roméo masks himself and rushes off. Tybalt
identifies the intruder as Montagues son,
but Capulet restrains him, ordering the party to
II. Later that night, Roméo enters the
Capulets garden, looking for Juliette (Ah!
lève-toi, soleil!). When she steps
out onto her balcony, he comes forward and declares
his love. Servants briefly interrupt their encounter.
Alone again, they vow to marry.
III. Roméo comes to Friar Laurences
cell at daybreak, followed by Juliette and her nurse,
Gertrude. Convinced of the strength of their love,
the priest agrees to marry them, hoping that the
union will end the fighting between their families.
Capulets house, Roméos page,
Stéphano, sings a mocking song. This provokes
a fight with several of the Capulets. Mercutio protects
Stéphano and is challenged by Tybalt. Roméo
appears and tries to make peace, asking Tybalt to
forget about the hatred between their families,
but after Tybalt kills Mercutio, Roméo stabs
him. The Duke of Verona arrives, and both factions
cry for justice. Roméo is banished from the
IV. Roméo and Juliette awake after their
secret wedding night. She forgives him for killing
her cousin, and after they have assured each other
of their love, Roméo reluctantly leaves for
exile (Duet: Nuit dhyménée).
Capulet enters and tells his daughter that she must
marry Paris that same day. She is left alone, desperate,
with Friar Laurence, who gives her a sleeping potion
that will make her appear dead. He promises that
she will wake with Roméo beside her. Juliette
drinks the potion (Amour, ranime mon courage).
When Capulet and the guests arrive to lead her to
the chapel, she collapses.
V. Roméo arrives at the Capulets
crypt and discovers Juliette. He believes her to be
dead and drinks poison. At that moment, she awakens,
and the lovers share a final dream of a future together.
As Roméo grows weaker, Juliette takes out a
dagger that she has hidden in her clothes and stabs
herself. The lovers die praying for Gods forgiveness.