I’ve been mainlining Shakespeare-themed operas all weekend, and have had the Chanson de Stéphano from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the brain all evening. I figured I’d find a proper version to listen to, and found this one, which is so gloriously wonderful that I had to share it with you immediately!
Stephano is a character you may not recall from Romeo and Juliet. That’s probably because he isn’t in the play (one article I read about this opera commented blithely that like most of the Romeo and Juliet operas, the plot bears almost no resemblance to the play). According to Gounod, then, Stephano is Romeo’s page boy, and a cheeky little blighter who is determined to pick a fight with the Capulets by singing outside their window about how Juliet is going to flee the coop, so to speak.
And if you are Ketevan Kemoklidze, you also graffiti the place, indulge in general destruction, and then set a few things on fire before getting back to the musical taunting…
I figured that one good trouser role deserves another, so I couldn’t resist finding out what Kemoklidze does with Cherubino (I’m supposed to be writing my market post right now, but I got distracted by random opera). I’m so glad I did – that’s the sexiest and cheekiest Cherubino I’ve seen. And did I mention that her singing is perfect? And I love her masculine body language.
And now I must get back to my market post, but I think Kemoklidze has just gone onto my list of singers to keep an eye out for.