Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 6:36 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: State Street Ballet Kicks Off with ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Rodney Gustafson creates a two-act version of the score for two weekend performances at The Granada

The dazzling State Street Ballet company will begin what promises to be a spectacular season with two performances in The Granada of Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, with choreography by the maestro himself, Rodney Gustafson.

Gustafson, the artistic director, gives the production a contemporary feel without disturbing the timeless grace of Prokofiev’s music or William Shakespeare’s play. His vision employs a two-act version of the score.

Romeo and Juliet is early Shakespeare, possibly written as early as 1591 but more likely sometime in 1594-95. Only Hamlet is as well-known, and it doesn’t begin to match the number of paintings, musical scores or motion pictures based on or inspired by Romeo and Juliet. There have been, to date, at least 24 operas based on the play — and none of them, it must be noted, comes close to matching the dramatic power and emotional profundity of the original play.

Of musical compositions that are not ballets, Hector Berlioz’s symphony is the greatest work of art, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s fantasy the most popular. Prokofiev’s ballet is not only far and away the best dance treatment of the story, but it’s one of the very greatest ballets ever written. For all its romantic moments and flights of lyricism, the score is unmistakably of the 20th century and is utterly “modern” music.

Even the love scenes, as poignant and heartbreaking as they are, tend to remind us of the transitory nature of youthful passion, not to mention youth itself — yet how much sweeter each moment seems, knowing that it will soon end.

Any of us can go out and buy a recording of Prokoviev’s music and listen to it as often as we wish. Chances to see the ballet performed, and by so great a company as State Street, are not to be missed. Life is too short.

Performances of Romeo and Juliet will be at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $28 to $53 and can be purchased from The Granada box office, 1214 State St., or 805.899.2222. Click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >