2011 Phantom Regiment presents
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…
So sets the backdrop for Juliet; Regiment’s twist on the greatest love story ever told. The 2011 program is a drum corps show presented in three acts, based on Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet, but as seen through her eyes. We present her captivating four-day romance with the object of her first love.
The Prologue opens with The Theme from East of Eden: Juliet’ s theme. A naive young girl, Juliet is introduced onto the open stage with this romantic music. Inside of each young woman beats the innocent heart, and the expressive promise of youth, that is Juliet.
Act One explodes with the distinctive trumpet fanfare from Verdi’s Requiem, announcing the pride and grandeur of the two families that have kept a senseless feud alive for generations. Mozart’s Requiem is the powerful and tragic motivation for the remainder of Act I. The darkness of its voicing’s, the sweep of its scale, and the depth of its emotion seem perfectly matched to the Regiment’s musical traditions. Visually, the performers appear as two noble warring factions, capturing the hatred and suspicion that threatens peace in the land. This aggression is interrupted, lifted, really, to remind us that Juliet exists largely in her own world, her purity a product of her sheltered environment.
The Corps, as Romeo, is outfitted with a Montague family crest. The flag has elements of both Romeo and Juliet, foreshadowing the impending union. Sabres parallel the blade used to bring this story to its tragic conclusion. At the end of Act I, the musical and visual elements are thrust together with power and passion, the cornerstones of a Phantom Regiment performance.
In stark contrast, Act Two, and the music Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem, sets the stage for a joyous party scene and the first encounter between these two star-cross’d lovers. Amidst festive movement, light-hearted characterization, and formal receiving lines, Juliet is presented to the ball. Mixed brass ensembles then serenade the lovers with Nino Rota’s A Time For Us, from the 1968 Zeffirelli film. The touching balcony scene is re-created with visual representations of the sun, moon and stars, as heard in Shakespeare’s classic words. But night is fleeting and they must part.
Act Three opens with Juliet basking in the afterglow of new found love, as each brass voice is featured. However this bliss is short lived. Prokofiev’s music for his “Romeo and Juliet” ballet masterpiece is fast and furious, encapsulating the tension and angst in the many plot twists, as the family conflict intensifies and Juliet struggles to be with her love. The percussion weaves its way through the corps and to the front stage, a metaphor for the intensifying story. Sabres with the percussion, represent that part of Juliet that is working feverishly to return to her husband, while the flags are entrapped in the maze of fate that Juliet cannot control. At long last, Juliet and Romeo are reunited and the poignant A Time for Us returns. Only this time the union is bittersweet. Little does Juliet know, these are their last joyful moments together.
In the final scene, Romeo is exiled. Juliet is far from him and they must be reunited. Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, is both hopeful and tragic. A Phantom Regiment classic, it is the perfect, soaring ending to the greatest love story ever told.
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.