Shakespeare's larger-than-life characters and predicaments beg to be set as operas -- grand, moving songs and gobs of spectacle. Romeo and Juliet's a special case, though: ordinary people reacting way out of proportion to an inconsequential, everyday situation. Teenagers in love? We know better, but pull the right heartstrings and we're back in that angsty place. (Meanwhile, overreacting and opera? Can't separate ’em with a crowbar.)
Arizona Opera's performance of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette Friday, November 16, features Metropolitan Opera's Jennifer Black as Juliet. Black's familiar with the role and has also sung Desdemona, so she's a natural pick for Hot Young Clueless Innocent. During her aria "Je veux vivre (I Want to Live)," please resist the impulse to shout, "Spoiler alert."