Two rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues, are battling for supremacy in the city of Verona. Romeo, the son of Lord Montague, professes his love to Rosaline. The Capulets, meanwhile, organise a ball, in which Juliet, the daughter of Lord Capulet, is to meet her betrothed, Count Paris. Rosaline, followed by the masked Romeo and his friends, also arrives at the party. Juliet notices Romeo, and the two fall in love at first sight. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt is suspicious about Romeo’s identity. As Juliet dreams of Romeo on her balcony, he sneaks into the garden and the two swear to be true to each other forever.
Verona is celebrating the carnival. Juliet receives an invite to see Friar Lawrence, who marries her and Romeo. As Romeo returns to the carnival, Tybalt stirs up an argument and challenges Romeo’s friend Mercutio to a duel. The duel ends in Mercutio’s death.
Romeo leaves Verona at dawn. Juliet’s parents present her to Count Paris. The distraught Juliet runs away to Friar Lawrence who gives her a potion for feigning her own death. Juliet pretends to accept Paris’s proposal and drinks the potion. Friar Lawrence, however, hasn’t told Romeo about the deceptive plan. Romeo believes Juliet to be really dead and kills Paris and himself at her burial chamber. As Juliet wakes up, he sees the dead body of Romeo by her side and kills herself, as she can’t live without him.
For a detailed synopsis and other background information, please see the programme leaflet.