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Cast set for OWR’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’

YOUNGSTOWN — Opera Western Reserve announced the cast this week for its November production of “Romeo + Juliet” at Stambaugh Auditorium.

This re-imagined production, devised and directed by OWR Artistic Director Scott Skiba, combines music from Charles Gounod’s opera, “Romeo et Juliette,” sung in French with the text of William Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and Juliet,” spoken in English.

Sarah Joyce Cooper will make her OWR debut as Juliette. She will sing Violetta in “La Traviata” with MassOpera this fall and debut this year with City Lyric Opera. Cooper earned her bachelor’s degree in French from Princeton University and a master’s degree in vocal performance from Westminster Choir College. She has sung in a number of past opera productions.

Jesus Daniel Hernandez will perform the role of Romeo. Hernandez sang the role of Lt. Pinkerton in OWR’s “Madame Butterfly” and performed as part of OWR’s Summer Cabaret. He has appeared in such productions as “Lucretia Borgia,” “Falstaff,” “Rigoletto” and “La Boheme, ” and he began his opera career as a participant in the Placido Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera.

Jason Paul Tate will appear as Tybalt and serve as fight choreographer. Mr. Tate is an acclaimed New York City based director, choreographer and performer whose credits include the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park and the Metropolitan Opera.

Leilani Barrett will perform the role of Mercutio. He is a professional choreographer and dancer, formerly of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Carla Baldwin will appear as Magistrate Prince. Other actors include Joz Vammer, Jonathan Stuckey, Stephanie Chavara, Joe Soriano, Tommy O’Donnell, Lynn Ohle, OWR’s Young Artist Alex Kluchar, Robert K. Ellway, Colleen Sabeh and Lisa Torrence.

“Romeo + Juliet” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Stambaugh, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown. Tickets range from $25 to $75 and are available at the Stambaugh box office, online at stambaughauditorium.com and by calling 330-259-0555.

If you go …

WHAT: Opera Western Reserve’s production of “Romeo + Juliet”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12

WHERE: Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown

HOW MUCH: $25 to $75 and with tickets available at the Stambaugh box office, online at stambaughaud itorium.com or call 330-259-0555.

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