Tenor Ismael Jordi Highlights OdM’s Romeo et Juliette

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Last night, Opéra de Montréal presented Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, the last opera of their 2017-18 season to a full house. A production with beautiful set designs by Claude Girard, the production bets on the quality and appeal of young Canadian singers; Andalucían tenor making his company debut was the only foreign singer. Almost all the supporting roles where performed by the members of the company’s training program.

Ismael Jordi (Roméo) Marie-Ève Munger (Juliette) 2 ©Yves Renaud

What you missed

All the singers did an agreeable job, including the chorus. However, Jordi was the true revelation of the show. He exhibited a charming light lyric tenor voice and great mastery of his instrument.  We can hear the influences that studying with legendary Spanish tenor Alfredo Krauss had on him as he seems to concentrate in creating a small but projective and vibrant sound.  He also was capable of executing every nuance in the score, had great overall stage presence and good French diction. However His voice lacked weight in some of the dramatic passages.

Marie-Ève Munger (Juliette) Ismael Jordi (Roméo) 5 ©Yves Renaud

Stage director Tom Diamond presented a sumptuous and traditional staging. One of the most beautiful scenes came in Act 2 when Roméo serenades Juliette in her balcony.  He also successfully staged credible sword combats and was able to create movement in an otherwise static opera. The first scene he staged the choirs to be separated symbolizing the separation between the two families. It was powerful and visually pleasing. The lighting crew also succeeded in creating the perfect atmosphere for the luscious set.

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The music was as exciting as waiting for a delayed flight after being up working an all-nighter. With a duration of 3  hours that felt like 5, one can’t understand why the opera has survived the test of time. Maybe it is Gounod’s ability to ride the coattails of great writers such as Shakespeare and Goethe.  One wonders if the work could be re-written or edited in some ways, as it has very few memorable melodies and far too many religious references.

Coloratura soprano Marie-Ève Munger was making her OdM debut; although she was announced indisposed before the show, she made a valiant effort. Her voice was beautiful in the middle notes but lacked brilliance in the top notes. We wish her a fast recovery.


Ismael Jordi, Roméo
Marie-Ève Munger, Juliette
Hugo Laporte, Mercutio
Katie Miller, Stefano
Alexandra Beley, Gertrude
Alexandre Sylvestre, Capulet
Scott Brooks, Duc De Véronne
Alain Coulombe, Frère Laurent
Sebastian Haboczki, Tybalt
Max Van Wyck, Gregorio
Rocco Rupolo, Benvolio
Nathan Keoughan, Paris

Conductor: Giuliano Carella


Continues May 22, 24 & 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM.




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