Toledo Opera will present Charles Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet (Roméo et Juliette) on Friday, February 16, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 2 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior, Toledo, Ohio. Performed by Toledo Opera for the first time in nearly a decade, this production boasts a star-studded cast and a world-class creative team. Toledo Opera will also host a free Pre-Opera Talk one hour before each show in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre. Local scholars provide historical context and insight and are available to take questions after the talk.

First performed in 1873 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, France, Romeo & Juliet follows the story of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.  Set in 15th century Verona, the deep and rapturous love between Romeo and Juliet rivals the longstanding feud between their families – the Montagues and the Capulets. Will these star-crossed lovers be able to endure their feuding kin or succumb to tragedy? From tender intimacy to ecstatic grandeur, Gounod’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s eternal drama comes to life in a cinematic-inspired production. Gounod’s lush, romantic opera will explore the fragility of innocence and youth in the face of political turmoil. Real life couple – and Toledo Opera audience favorites – Zach Borichevsky and Kathryn Lewek star as Romeo and Juliet. Maestro Adam Turner returns to Toledo to conduct as director James Mitchell brings this timeless tragedy to life. The production will be sung in French with English supertitles.

Kathryn Lewek, who will be debuting the role of Juliet has established herself as one of opera’s most thrilling coloratura sopranos of this generation. She has performed some of the most vocally challenging roles in the repertoire, joining the top-ranking operatic performers of all time. Ms. Lewek made an “especially brilliant” debut as Ginevra with the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele in Austria, opposite Cecilia Bartoli, where Ms. Lewek “perform[ed] a miracle” and thrilled audiences with “a rich (and richly differentiated) soprano voice [that] has not been experienced for a long time.”

Tenor Zach Borichevsky, himself a Metropolitan Opera singer, is known as a “star-level tenor, equipped with a flexible, bright voice that already has made him one of the most sought-after singers of his generation.” Mr. joins his real-life wife in the role of Romeo – a role he is known for both nationally and internationally.

Lewek and Borchevsky’s fellow leads –baritone Sydney Outlaw as Mercutio, bass Matt Boehler as Laurente, and baritone Jason Duika as Capulet – bring international musical prowess of their own, with past performances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Finnish National Opera, Dallas Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Washington National Opera, among many others. Also joining the cast are tenor and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Jon Suek (Tybalt), baritone Dorian Payton Hall (Duke of Verona), mezzo-soprano Julia Gries (Stephano), mezzo-soprano and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Imara Miles (Gertrude), baritone and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Evan Fleming (Gregorio), baritone Luke Serrano (Count Paris), and tenor Nick Kottman (Benvoglio).

For Toledo Opera’s Executive Director Suzanne Rorick, this is a unique opportunity for Toledoans to partake in a historic debut performance: “Our production of Romeo & Juliet will be the cultural arts performance not to miss this February. Shakespeare will most certainly take center stage as his brilliance demands with the tragic love story brought to life by the talents of world-renowned opera singers Kathryn Lewek and Zach Borichevsky. Katie has honored us again by choosing Toledo Opera to debut the role of Juliet. How lucky can Toledo audiences be? Please join us!”

Toledo Opera will perform Romeo & Juliet at the Valentine Theatre on Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 18 at 2 p.m. To learn more about Romeo & Juliet cast and production team and to buy tickets, visit: Romeo & Juliet is made possible by the Elizabeth T. Wolfe Family Charitable Foundation. For media access, please contact Rachael Cammarn at