Women from Seville

- – Carmen, Micaela, Frasquita and Mercedes — will sing and/or dance at four venues throughout Connecticut in October when the CT Lyric Opera opens its 10th anniversary season on October 14th with Bizet’s ever popular “Carmen”. The great French masterpiece, originally a failure at its 1875 premiere, is probably THE most well know and loved opera in the entire repertory today, and was the first opera the CLO ever presented a decade ago. Another group of Spanish heroines — Donna Anna, Donna Elvira and Zerlina from Mozart’s extraordinary “Don Giovanni” — will close the CT Lyric season in May. Ole!

Carmen is the ultimate role for any singing actress. Vocally, its only difficulty is its shear length, which is why many sopranos and mezzos alike have had a go at it throughout history, though the dark, sensual allure of a mezzo-soprano voice is preferred. The famous “Habanera” only starts her evening, and the character must be established immediately. She is not your stereotypical, busty, hip-swinging tart, but instead, a strong-willed, free-spirited gypsy –but one who likes her men, albeit temporarily. The two men in this production enamored by her are tenor Daniel Juarez as Don Jose and baritone Maksim Ivanov as the toreador Escamillo.

The gyspy herself will be portrayed by the rising Polish mezzo star Alexandra Kaminska. Ms Kaminska and Juarez were last seen together with the CLO in completely different roles here last March — as the comic Dorabella and Ferrando in Mozart’s delightful “Cosi fan Tutte”. — a far cry from the passion and iolence of Bizet’s work! Their versatility is eagerly awaited! Rounding out the cast is the CLO’s resident diva Jurate Svedaite in the role of Micaela, who actually has the most gorgeous aria (in Act 3) of all the many fine ones in the opera. (She will alternate with Samantha Lane Phillips-Talmadge). As always, “Carmen” will be conducted by maestro Adrian Sylveen and his top-notch CT Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.

Opening night will be on Sunday Oct. 14 at Trinity-on-Main, that beautiful, renovated, historic church in New Britain. The production will also appear at Naugatuck Valley Community College on Sat. Oct.20, followed by Sun. Oct. 28 at Middletown High School’s state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, and culminating at The Garde Theater in New London on Sat. Nov. 3.

For more information, please visit thevirtuosi.org.

Don’t miss this one!

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