Beneath Juliette’s girlish vivacity shines the strength of a goddess. She begs the sweetly joyous flame of youth to endure, but romance turns it to ashes.

Soprano Ailyn (pronounced Eileen) Pérez seeks to capture that strength within Charles Gounod’s sweeping melodies in “Romeo et Juliette.” The Shakespearian tragedy opens at the Santa Fe Opera on Saturday, July 16. First performed in Paris in 1867, “Romeo et Juliette” is the French composer’s second-most popular work behind “Faust.”

“It’s intense, but it’s beautiful,” Pérez said. “It’s because she’s heroic; she sees past the violence. She’s not being the obedient little girl. She realizes he’s the enemy.”

Read the entire feature via the Albuquerque Journal