Today, I present to you my unconventional adaptation of Romeo, from Bellini’s opera “I Capuleti e i Montecchi”. A pants/breeches role is one where a singer, often mezzo-soprano, transforms herself into a male character. Composers often used pants roles in order to allow their male characters to have innocent and gentle voices. But, what happens if we don’t conform to those rules, and we allow these roles to be modernized ?
Opera is about tradition and convention. We can honour it by staying true to what the composers wrote, but we can also shake things up and push the boundaries. What would happen if we adapted these stories to our current way of thinking? Would we be taking away from what has already reached perfection, or would we be lending a voice to those who don’t have one?
What if, just once, we did not turn ourselves into men who fall in love with women, but instead, let the audience decide what they wanted to see? What if, just this one time, Romeo was a woman, who fell in love with a woman? Shouldn’t we try, and find out?
My adaptation of Romeo, a role I LOVE to act and sing, is not one of a man. It is of a woman as powerful and privileged as Romeo, as dark and passionate, but also loving and devoted to Juliet, the woman he/she loves. I have chosen to portray what is on the inside, and not what is on the outside. It is up to you to decide if my adaption is male or female, neither or both. Decide what you see, decide what kind of love you want for these two well-known characters, and decide what you want to see for yourself, and only for yourself.
I Capuleti e i Montecchi : Se Romeo t’uccise un figlio (Bellini)

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