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Jacob Liang ’20: Aria from Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet

Published By Duke Arts / published on: April 7, 2020

As part of our ongoing "Art for Duke" series, we hand over our platform to students to share their work with our online community in place of in-person performances, exhibits, and other events. Duke senior Jacob Liang shares an aria sung by Friar Laurence in Gounod's "Romeo and Juliette."

Art for Duke

This scene was to be part of the spring 2020 Duke Opera Theater production “Afterlives of the Star-Crossed Lovers: The Many Forms of Romeo and Juliet,” which had to be canceled because of COVID-19. Jacob recorded this in his apartment near the Duke University campus.

Although Juliet has secretly wed Romeo the previous night, her father has just announced an arranged marriage for her.  In this scene, the Friar proposes a solution to her dilemma.  He tells of a mystical bottle of potion that will make her appear as dead.  But as the aria builds in speed and intensity, we learn that “within a day” her heart will revive and she can awaken with her Romeo.  The triumphant and hopeful finale to this aria is inspiring to us all as we adjust to our time quietly apart.