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.).
More media releases
Not only does this season mark the first-ever ATB Canadian Series for the Edmonton Opera, but the series will start with a world premiere.
The Canadian contemporary opera Shelter, co-produced by the Edmonton Opera and Tapestry New Opera in Toronto, will be performed for the first time in mid-November, at La Cité Francophone as part of the University of Alberta’s Festival of Ideas.
Not only is the Edmonton Opera recognizing the 200th anniversary of composer Verdi’s birth with the production of Aida, but we’re also throwing a party.
The fifth annual Storm the Stage — a party on the opera set — will be held on Oct. 20, during a non- performance night of Aida. Edmontonians are invited to experience Egypt on the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium stage during this unique arts event.
Before the curtain rises for Aida this October, the Edmonton Opera presents Opera 101, a panel discussion to break down the intricacies of one of Verdi’s most well-loved and grandest operas.
Five panelists, including Stephan Bonfield, Dr. Julián Castro-Rea, Dr. Magdy El-Shamma, Dr. Benjamin Garstad and Dejan Miladinovic, will discuss Aida on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., at the Art Gallery of Alberta in the Ledcor Theatre.
With two free events planned this weekend, the Edmonton Opera is joining its arts and culture colleagues across Canada for Culture Days, providing interactive and exciting opportunities for families and individuals.
Opera is even more accessible during the 2012/13 season, as the Edmonton Opera has made changes to its production schedule to allow for matinée performances.
In addition to three nighttime performances, there will be a 2 p.m. performance on the Sunday during the production run. This earlier performance allows for out-of-town opera enthusiasts to enjoy the performance without making an overnight trip, or for families to expose their children to the art form and still make it home at a family-friendly hour.