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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.).
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Media are invited to attend the Canadian Heritage funding announcement on Friday, March 1, at 1 p.m., at Edmonton Opera’s production facility (15230-128 Ave.).
Next season, Edmonton Opera’s presence will be felt equally on and off the stage.
The opera company announced its 50th anniversary season on Jan. 23, which includes productions of Richard Strauss’ Salome, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
In addition, anniversary-specific projects have been announced for 2013/14: an Edmonton Opera chorus concert in November 2013, a Canadian new work competition known as Opera Next and an education partnership called DIY Opera.
For a 400-year-old tradition, 50 years looks pretty good on the Edmonton Opera.
The programming for our half-century anniversary in 2013/14 will be announced on Jan. 23 at noon in the Edmonton City Centre Mall on the second-floor pedway (near Tim Hortons).
Details on media parking will be made available closer to the date of the event and upon RSVP of media outlets.
The 40-minute event will include the announcement with comments from Sandra Gajic, Edmonton Opera CEO, and an opera performance by artists currently engaged by the company.
The complicated, scientific world of nuclear fission is given a human voice in Shelter, the first production in the Edmonton Opera’s ATB Canadian Series.
Opening on Nov. 15, this is the first time ever the contemporary opera has been performed, and it’s a joint effort between Edmonton Opera and Toronto’s Tapestry New Opera.