I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Synopsis
I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Capellio is mourning the death of his son, who has been killed in a fight with Romeo, the son of the Montecchi family with which the Capuleti family has quarelled. Tebaldo has managed to gain Capellio’s trust and the latter promises him the hand of his daughter Giulietta in marriage. Lorenzo, a doctor, has been given the task of informing Giulietta that she is to be married to Tebaldo that same day. Lorenzo, however, is the only person who knows that Giulietta has fallen in love with the family’s enemy, Romeo, and that both are trying to find a way out of the conflict which has estranged their families.
An unknown messenger from the enemy, nobody other than Romeo himself, suggests to Capellio an unusual way of making peace with his enemy: Capellio should give his daughter’s hand in marriage to Romeo, the son of the Montecchi, as a sign of reconciliation and thus seal the peace. Capellio rejects the offer as pure provocation.
Giulietta, on the other hand, is extremely upset at the suggestion that she should marry Tebaldo. Lorenzo manages to calm her down: he tells her that Romeo has managed to enter the city without being recognised and wants to meet her. Romeo, who is very disappointed by Capellio’s rejection of his peace move, sees only one way out of their situation, namely that they should flee together and start a new life somewhere else where the quarrel between their families will no longer play a role. Giulietta cannot agree to this plan, however, and sends Romeo away.
During the preparations for the wedding with Tebaldo, Romeo tells Lorenzo that his supporters have managed to get into the city and are ready to fight at any time. Their disguise could be discovered any minute but Giulietta still refuses to flee with Romeo. When Romeo is
challenged as an enemy by Tebaldo and Capulet he admits who he is but manages to escape.
Giulietta has no idea where her beloved is. Lorenzo is able to reassure her: he tells her Romeo is safe. In order for her not to have to marry Tebaldo, however, he suggests that she should take a potion which will induce a death-like sleep. After a great deal of hesitation she finally makes up her mind to pretend to be dead. Her father, on the other hand, gives orders for Lorenzo to be followed so that he is unable to inform Romeo of his plan.
Romeo has returned to the city and is challenged to a duel by Tebaldo. A choir singing in mourning announces Giulietta’s death. Romeo and Tebaldo are both in despair.
In order to mourn for his lost love, Romeo has gone to Giulietta’s tomb. At the sight of her lying dead he can no longer handle the situation and poisons himself. When Giulietta awakes from her apparent death she realises the fatal consequences of the entanglement and wants only to follow her beloved into death.
Lorenzo accuses her father Capellio of having murdered them both.