Wolf Trap Opera Season Continues with a New Production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette The Barns at Wolf Trap, Four Performances, July 15, 17, 19, 21

Vienna, VA (July 9, 2018)
Wolf Trap Opera’s 2018 season continues with a new production of Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette on Sunday, July 15 at 3 p.m. at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Three additional performances are scheduled for Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.  See below for complete casting and ticketing information. High resolution production images are available upon request.|

Roméo et Juliette enjoys its Barns debut in this new production featuring a full orchestra upstage of the action,” said Kim Pensinger Witman, Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming at Wolf Trap Foundation. “We’re thrilled to return to this configuration (employed for the first time in 2015 with The Ghosts of Versailles), which brings the artists downstage to within inches of the audience and fills the clear warm acoustic of the theater with Gounod’s full lush orchestration.”

 Roméo et Juliette is one of four operas specifically selected for this season to fit the voices of Wolf Trap Opera’s Filene Artists. The cast includes soprano Madison Leonard (Juliette Capulet), tenor Alexander McKissick (Roméo Montague), baritone Thomas Glass (Mercutio), tenor Richard Trey Smagur (Tybalt), and mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven (Gertrude), among others. Singers in the Wolf Trap Opera Studio will round out the cast as other Capulets and Montagues. Wolf Trap Opera’s elite group of young singers is chosen through an annual highly selective nationwide audition tour. See complete casting below.

The story of Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers of Verona, was made most famous by William Shakespeare’s play, but the tragic and timeless tale goes back even further than the 16th century. Director Louisa Muller has chosen to bring the action forward to the present day, so that the protagonists are contemporary teenagers we recognize. The themes of love, loss, and rebellion against parental authority are just as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago. “Romeo, Juliet, and their compatriots are young people on the brink of adulthood who bridle at the constraints placed on them by the older generation and struggle to take control of their own destinies,” says Muller. “I can think of no better company than Wolf Trap Opera, cast entirely with singers at the beginning of their professional lives, to tell a story about characters whose youth is so fundamental to the action.”

Roméo et Juliette is conducted by Eric Melear and directed by Louisa Muller, assistant director is Francis Rabalais, with scenic design by Timothy Mackabee, costumes by Amanda Seymour, wigs and makeup by Anne Nesmith, and lighting by Robert H. Grimes. Continuing Wolf Trap Opera’s broadcast initiative, performances will be filmed and audio recorded for future radio broadcasts.

Since 1971, Wolf Trap Opera has mounted more than 130 productions of over 80 different operas. In addition to Roméo et Juliette, the summer opera season will also feature the company premiere of Verdi’s Rigoletto (August 3) at the Filene Center, directed by Crystal Manich, with the National Symphony Orchestra led by Grant Gershon. Additionally, Wolf Trap Opera presents concerts and productions as part of the UNTRAPPED initiative at venues across the region, including The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, The Phillips Collection and Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the -Woods. Visit wolftrap.org/opera for more information.

Special thanks to Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, Wolf Trap 2018 Season Underwriters,
and Anne R. Kline and Geoffrey Pohanka, Performance Sponsors


Wolf Trap Opera is a program of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap Foundation’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.


Media Information

(Please do not publish contact information)

Erick Hoffman, Director, Public Relations
703.255.1917 or erickh@wolftrap.org

Caroline Heaney, Bucklesweet
202.636.3503 or


Press passes and high-resolution production photos may be available upon request.





Roméo et Juliette
New production
Music by Charles Gounod | Libretto by J. Barbier and M. Carré
Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Inside the Opera pre-show talk begins one hour before curtain at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap, next door to The Barns at Wolf Trap.
The Barns at Wolf Trap is located 1635 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182
Three hours with one intermission | In French with projected translations
Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased online at wolftrap.org, in person at the Filene Center and Barns Box Offices, or by phone at 877.WOLFTRAP.


In order of vocal appearance

Tybalt, Juliette’s cousin                                  Richard Trey Smagur
Count Pâris, promised to Juliette               Patrick Guetti
Lord Capulet, Juliette’s father                     Joshua Conyers
Juliette Capulet                                                                Madison Leonard
Mercutio, Roméo’s friend                            Thomas Glass
Roméo Montague                                           Alexander McKissick
Gertrude, Juliette’s nurse                             Taylor Raven
Gregorio, a Montague servant                  Andrew Gilstrap*
Frère Laurent                                                    Anthony Reed
Stéphano, Roméo’s page                             Annie Rosen
Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin                            Kevin Bryant*
Capulets and Montagues                             Wolf Trap Opera Studio

*Studio Artists



Conductor                                                           Eric Melear
Director                                                                Louisa Muller
Scenic Designer                                                                Timothy Mackabee
Costume Designer                                           Amanda Seymour
Lighting Designer                                             Robert H. Grimes
Wig & Makeup Designer                               Anne Nesmith
Chorusmaster                                                   Jeremy Frank



Musical Preparation                                        Jeremy Frank, Blair Salter            
French Coach                                                     Marie-France Lefebvre
Assistant Director                                            Francis Rabalais
Production Stage Manager                          Jordan Braun
Assistant Stage Manager                              Kristin Kelly
Supertitle Coordinator                                   Alec Castro