Media contact: Cameron MacRae, senior manager, marketing
There may only be three performances of Carmen in Edmonton this winter, but Edmonton Opera staff have been living with the production for months.
The scenery and costumes for the production, set on the verge of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, were built locally, in Edmonton Opera's northside production facility.
This new concept for Carmen was envisioned by director Maria Lamont, scenery designer Camellia Koo, costume designer Deanna Finnman and lighting designer David Fraser, and it will be unveiled Jan. 30 at the Jubilee.
"Our mandate is to produce great performances that showcase the powerful emotions of opera, and in Edmonton, we're really lucky that we can do that from start to finish, with talented crews who can take an idea off the page and create what you see in front of you," said Tim Yakimec, general manager and artistic director of Edmonton Opera, adding that good costumes and scenery support the narrative created by the artists.
French mezzo-soprano Géraldine Chauvet embodies the fearless Carmen, while American tenor Jeffrey Gwaltney, singing opposite Chauvet as Don José, becomes entangled in the doomed relationship. Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl returns to Edmonton in the role of Escamillo, the dashing toreador who steals Camren away from José.
Georges Bizet didn't live long enough to see the success of Carmen. Arguably now the most famous opera in the world, its music, story and concept was considered revolutionary at the time of its premiere, 150 years ago. The political undertones, referring to the war of independence, are just as applicable to the civil war.
"It is a classic boy-meets-girl story, but then he ruins his career for her, all while she meets a more handsome, successful boy," Yakimec said. "Underneath all that, the opera speaks to freedom, independence and individuality for a woman who absolutely cannot be pinned down and must be free, which was unheard of."
The media dress rehearsal for Carmen will be on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Please RSVP your outlet's attendance to Cameron MacRae, senior manager, marketing, at 780-984-3634 or email@example.com.
Carmen will be performed in French with projected English translation on Saturday, Jan. 30 (8 p.m.), Tuesday, Feb. 2 (7:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Feb. 4 (7:30 p.m.).
More media releases
Dressed in their finest, nearly 800 prominent Albertans shared their love for the arts and appreciation for continuing care on Friday, at the annual Valentine’s Gala hosted by Edmonton Opera and the CapitalCare Foundation.
The Edmonton Opera’s 2014/15 season is one of Great Escapes, as each opera demands its principal characters perform a variety of clever and cunning exits — from a lecherous old man in The Barber of Seville, from magical beings in The Magic Flute, and from a constrained, loveless marriage in Lucia di Lammermoor.
A romantic musical comedy, Edmonton Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus opens at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Feb. 1 (tickets are nearly sold out) and continues Feb. 4 and 6.
The media dress rehearsal will be Thursday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. Good visuals occur at approximately 12:20 p.m., when there is a large number of cast members and chorus on stage during the masked ball scenes.
Famous for its chaotic plot and catchy melodies written by the Waltz King Johann Strauss II, many of the artists performing in the February production of Edmonton Opera’s Die Fledermaus have a personal connection to the work.
Director Allison Grant has previously choreographed and been the assistant director four other times on the popular German opera — performed in English at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium — including a 1996 EO production under Kelly Robinson.
A new collaboration between the Edmonton Opera and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra will bring three dynamic baritones to the Winspear Centre this March.
No Tenors Allowed features the Edmonton Opera Chorus and guest baritone singers Gordon Bitner, Elliot Madore and Philippe Sly on March 24, 2014, led by ESO conductor Bill Eddins. The ensemble’s program includes prominent works that will engage a wide variety of audience members.