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  • Writer's picture New Music-Theatre


Artistic Director Tim Nelson of In Series and the creative team putting together Le Cabaret de Carmen have taken one of the most beloved of operas and have presented the story but also the music in a radical way. I was curious to define for myself why and how/if the concept was justified. Join me in this “digging into” …

The Opera Carmen by Bizet starts out in an open square in sunny Seville, what do you think was meant in having the entire work set in a dark, seedy cabaret/club and did that establish a suitable place to re-examine the opera? What was gained and/or lost?

How did you make sense of this Carmen’s secret, and how did the singer Cara Schaefer convey her status as an outsider? What are we meant to feel?

How are we meant to understand Don José’s character in this interpretation of the story? Why does he not heed his fiancée and return home with her, and what should we make of their “Ma mère je la vois” duet?

What bout José’s killing of Carmen, would you argue that it was an act of romantic passion?

How did the choices of music, including instrumentation and vocal presentation, support (or not) the interpretation of the operatic moments, including the Toreador ‘hit tune’, the famous “Habanera” aria, and the “Fate Theme” of Carmen?

Please answer any one or all of these questions.

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