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Romeo and Juliet

Repertory Archive

Romeo and Juliet

Ballet in Three Acts

Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Staged by Julie Lincoln
Assistant to Sir Kenneth MacMillan Monica Parker
Scenery and Costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis
Lighting by Thomas Skelton

World Premiere

The Royal Ballet
February 9, 1965
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
London, England

Margot Fonteyn (Juliet)
Rudolf Nureyev (Romeo)

ABT Premiere

January 3, 1985
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, D.C.

Leslie Browne (Juliet)
Robert La Fosse (Romeo)


Act I, Scene 1 ‑ The Market place ‑ The scene is Verona.  Romeo, son of Montague, tries unsuccessfully to declare his love for Rosaline and is consoled by his friends Mercutio and Benvolio.  As day breaks the townspeople meet in the market place, a quarrel develops between Tybalt, a nephew of Capulet, and Romeo and his friends.  The Capulets and Montagues are sworn enemies and a fight soon begins.  The Lords Montague and Capulet join in the fray, which is stopped by the appearance of the Prince of Verona who commands the families to end their feud.

Scene 2 ‑ Juliet’s ante‑room in the Capulets’ house ‑ Juliet, playing with her nurse, is interrupted by her parents Lord and Lady Capulet.  They present her to Paris, a wealthy young nobleman who has asked for her hand in marriage.

Scene 3 ‑ Outside the Capulet’s house ‑ Guests arrive for a ball at the Capulets’ house.  Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio, disguised in masks, decide to go in pursuit of Rosaline.

Scene 4 ‑ The ballroom ‑ Romeo and his friends arrive at the height of the festivities.  The guests watch Juliet dance.  Mercutio, seeing Romeo is entranced by her, dances to distract attention from him.  Tybalt recognizes Romeo and orders him to leave, but Capulet intervenes and welcomes him as a guest in his house.

Scene 5 ‑ Outside the Capulets’ house ‑ As the guests leave the ball Capulet restrains Tybalt from pursuing Romeo.

Scene 6 ‑ Juliet’s balcony ‑ Unable to sleep, Juliet comes out on to her balcony and is thinking of Romeo, when suddenly he appears in the garden.  They confess their love for each other.


Act II, Scene 1 ‑ The Market place ‑ Romeo can think only of Juliet, and as a wedding procession passes, he dreams of the day when he will marry her.  In the meantime Juliet’s nurse pushes her way through the crowds in search of Romeo to give him a letter from Juliet.  He reads that Juliet has consented to be his wife.

Scene 2 ‑ The chapel ‑ The lovers are secretly married by Friar Laurence who hopes that their union will end the strife between the Montagues and the Capulets.

Scene 3 ‑ The market place ‑ Interrupting the revelry, Tybalt fights with Mercutio and kills him.  Romeo avenges the death of his friend and is exiled.


Act III, Scene 1 ‑ The bedroom ‑ At dawn next morning the household is stirring and Romeo must go.  He embraces Juliet and leaves as her parents enter with Paris. Juliet refuses to marry Paris, and hurt by her rebuff, he leaves.  Juliet’s parents are angry and threaten to disown her.  Juliet rushes to see Friar Laurence.

Scene 2 ‑ The chapel ‑ She falls at the Friar’s feet and begs for his help.  He gives her a phial of sleeping potion which will make her fall into a death‑like sleep.  Her parents, believing her dead, will bury her in the family tomb.  Meanwhile Romeo, warned by Friar Laurence, will return under cover of darkness and take her away from Verona.

Scene 3 ‑ The bedroom ‑ That evening Juliet agrees to marry Paris, but next morning, where her parents arrive with him they find her apparently lifeless on the bed.

Scene 4 ‑ The Capulet family crypt ‑ Romeo, failing to receive the Friar’s message, returns to Verona stunned by grief at the news of Juliet’s death.  Disguised as a monk he enters the crypt, and finding Paris by Juliet’s body, kills him.  Believing Juliet to be dead, Romeo drinks a phial of poison.  Juliet awakes and, finding Romeo dead, stabs herself.


Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 Ballet
Composed by Sergei Prokofiev
Libretto by Sergei Radlov, Adrian Piotrovsky, Leonid Lavrovsky, and Sergei Prokofiev
Presented under license from G. Schirmer Inc, and Associated Music Publishers, copyright owners.