Oct 15, 2021 7:30 PM
Oct 17, 2021 2:00 PM
Orpheum Theater

409 S 16th St
Omaha, NE 68102



Wait, why is Romeo played by a woman?

View Program Book
New Production and Company Premiere
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Libretto by Felice Romani
Performed in Italian with English supertitles

Conductor's Notes
Director's Notes

Act II of this performance contains scenes that depict sexual assault and suicide.
This production uses theatrical fog and haze

Current Covid Protocols

For all Opera Omaha events, masks are required for guests at all times regardless of vaccination status. Opera Omaha adheres to the Orpheum Theater’s protocols and safety measures, which can be found here.

Social distanced seating available in the Grand tier and balcony


Previously slated to debut in our 2020 ONE Festival, Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece is a seldom-seen telling of Romeo and Juliet, the infamous “star-crossed lovers” engulfed by rival political factions on the brink of war. Most commonly known through Shakespeare but inspired here from writings of the Italian Renaissance, I Capuleti e i Montecchi gives thrilling voice to one of the world’s most overwhelming and vital love stories. This new production by ONE Festival Artistic Director James Darrah is a dark and visually rich exploration of love and loss illuminated by a powerful ensemble of world-class artists, designers and dancers, including the return of soprano Andriana Chuchman (2015 A Flowering Tree, 2017 Flight) as Juliet. True to Bellini’s original score, Romeo is performed by a mezzo soprano, the acclaimed Cecelia Hall, in her Opera Omaha debut.

James Darrah is one of the most sought-after directors working in the overlapping worlds of opera, theater and film today, and his work brings prominence to a new era of cinematic opera. He strives to create work that feels current and relevant to today’s audiences, innovating and exploring new ways to tell powerful stories. In The Capulets and the Montagues, Mr. Darrah eschews traditional performance practice which requires a woman to take on a male persona in order to portray Romeo. With two women embodying the title roles, this new production honors the composer’s choice of voice types through the lens of LGBTQ+ perspectives, bringing new meaning to the tragic story of two people caught in a divisive society, not allowed to love each other because of who they are.