O’ Roméo, Roméo!

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O’ Roméo, Roméo!

Sunday, Feb 19, 2023 / 4:00 pm

O’ Roméo, Roméo!
Sunday, February 19—4:00 PM
| The Lensic

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus presents a tribute to Valentine’s Day with one of Hector Berlioz’ finest and most original works, Roméo et Juliette. This outstanding symphonie dramatique celebrates Maestro Guillermo Figueroa’s 70th birthday and seventh incredible season with The Santa Fe Symphony—and you are invited! Under the baton of Maestro Figueroa, O’ Roméo, Roméo includes the full Orchestra and Chorus and UNM Concert Choir, plus a hand-selected cast of renowned soloists, with choral direction by Carmen Flórez-Mansi. Be sure to join Maestro Figueroa for a FREE Preview Talk at 3:00 PM.

O’ Roméo, Roméo! is a part of the inaugural Art + Sol Santa Fe Winter Arts Festival. Learn more at artsolsantafe.org.

This weekend’s mezzo-soprano, Rebecca Robinson, joined Classical KHFM Host Alexis Corbin to chat about O’ Roméo, Romé. Check out the podcast now!

Love, Berlioz & Chocolate! O’ Roméo, Roméo Preview Talk
Saturday, February 18—1:00 to 2:30 PM | Cathedral Basilica

Please join Maestro Guillermo Figueroa for an intimate lecture taking you behind the scenes of Hector Berlioz’s epic symphonie dramatique, Roméo et Juliette! Maestro Figueroa will present an extensive background on the composer and this epic work at the iconic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe.

FREE! This special event is open to the public and includes sweet delectables for your indulgence as we celebrate this timeless love story, great music, and Valentine’s Day.


The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Guillermo Figueroa
Principal Conductor
Carmen Flórez-Mansi
, Choral Director
Rebecca Robinson, Mezzo-Soprano
John Tiranno, Tenor
Adrian Smith, Baritone



Roméo et Juliette: Symphonie dramatique, op.17

Act I: Introduction
Act II: Romeo Alone
Love Scene
Queen Mab Scherzo


Act III. Juliet’s Funeral Procession
Romeo in the Tomb of the Capulets



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Sunday, Feb 19, 2023 / 4:00 pm


Sunday, Feb 19, 2023
4:00 pm
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The Lensic
211 W. San Francisco Street
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Of Note

Berlioz was inspired to compose Roméo et Juliette after seeing an 1827 performance in Paris. “By the third act…,” he wrote, “I knew that I was lost…At the time I did not know a word of English; I could only glimpse Shakespeare darkly through the mists of [Pierre] Letourneur’s translation…But the power of the acting…told me more and gave me a far richer awareness of the ideas and passions of the original than the words of my pale and garbled translation could do.”

The eventual composition of Roméo et Juliette as we know it now was made possible by a generous gift of 20,000 francs by Niccolò Paganini; after hearing a performance of Harold en Italie at the Paris Conservatoire on December 16, 1838, the great virtuoso had publicly knelt before Berlioz and hailed him as the heir of Beethoven. Sadly, Paganini died shortly after, and did not read or hear the piece.

Roméo et Juliette was first performed in three concerts conducted by Berlioz himself at the Paris Conservatoire in 1839, with an orchestra of 100 instruments and 101 voices. A notable member of the audience was Richard Wagner, who would later note the influence of the symphony on his opera Tristan und Isolde. Berlioz had scored a major triumph in these first performances—a “tour de force such as only my system of sectional rehearsals could have achieved,” Berlioz commented.

Rebecca Robinson, Mezzo-Soprano

Praised for her “darkly pretty voice,” mezzo-soprano Rebecca L. Robinson is quickly making a name for herself as a rising talent in the opera world. She recently completed the Professional Certificate program at the University of Colorado–Boulder, where she was seen in Eklund Opera productions as the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella), Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, as well as in recital with the world-renowned Takács Quartet.

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John Tiranno, Tenor

Hailed by The New York Times as “ardent and mellifluous” as well as a “clear-voiced tenor”, John Tiranno’s recent and upcoming engagements include opera concerts with the New Mexico Performing Arts Society, a performance of Mahler’s song cycle Songs of a Wayfarer with ChatterABQ, and the role of Man 1 in Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s opera Frida with Opera Southwest. He had numerous performances canceled or postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 ...

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Adrian Smith, Baritone

Hailed for his “big bronze voice” and commanding stage presence, baritone Adrian Smith has garnered acclaim for performances across the country. Of his Count Monterone in NC Opera’s Rigoletto, critics said, “Adrian Smith's Monterone poured out imposing tone in his outrage against the Duke.” Of a performance of La fanciulla del West, critics said, “Adrian Smith’s well-voiced Larkens was memorably affecting.” ​

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Guillermo Figueroa, Principal Conductor

One of the most versatile and respected musical artists of his generation—renowned as conductor, violinist, violist and concertmaster—Guillermo Figueroa is the Principal Conductor of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. He also serves as the Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado and Music Director of the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida, and he is the founder of the highly acclaimed Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque.

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Carmen Flórez-Mansi, Choral Director

Carmen Flórez-Mansi, a native of New Mexico, currently serves as the Pastoral Associate for Music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Since 1989, she has performed as a vocal artist, choral conductor, vocal instructor and liturgy specialist throughout the Southwest, including solo appearances with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. Carmen is also the Director of the St. Michael’s High School Choral Arts Society, which she founded in 2014.

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Program Notes

Roméo et Juliette, which Berlioz considered his finest work, was shaped by three quite different events. In 1827, he went to see productions in Paris of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. The 24-year-old composer did not speak a word of English, but he fell in love with Shakespeare’s language and drama (a…

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