Atlanta Opera Presents Carmen

November 11, 2012

A fiery romance filled with jealousy, vengence and a tragic end!

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The Atlanta Opera opens its 2012-13 season at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre with Bizet’s immensely popular opera, Carmen, which is sung in French with English subtitles projected above the stage.

Last night I was the guest of The Atlanta Opera for the media preview performance of Carmen. It was magnificent! I have often said that an opera is a Broadway musical on steroids! Everything about an opera is "over the top" and Carmen certainly proves my case.

First, the cast is huge. Comprised of 74 members, the cast includes 10 major singers, plus 46 adults and 18 children in the chorus. All of the children, who range from 7 to 15, sing in French, and are adorable. If you add in the orchestra, there are roughly 140 Atlanta locals in the show. The sheer number of cast members on stage makes each scene grandiose and vibrant.

The sets, which were purchased from the Florida Grand Opera, seamlessly transport the audience from a tobacco factory in Seville to a tavern in Triana, then on to the gypsies hide-a-way in the mountains and back to a street parade and into the bull-fighting ring in Seville.

The 250 costumes in the show are gorgeous! They ranged from simple (and very seductive) gypsy dresses, to military uniforms and on to elaborate bullfighting costumes. These three, plus the street urchins rags and opulent "ladies" dresses made each scene explode with color and texture that delight the eyes.

The familiarity of the music makes this opera so compelling. I instantly recognized the music of the famous "Habanera" and the irresistible Toreador's song, but I didn't realize that these were opera hits with wonderful words. The fiery flamenco music and dancing complete with castanets was as romantic as the gypsy music and dancing was exhilarating. Along with the storyline, the music really drove this show and the Atlanta Opera Orchestra received a well deserved Bravo for their performance supporting the fabulous singers in this show.

The major singers took us on a wild emotional ride from seduction and passion to rejection and pleading and finally spiraling down to jealously and rage. The action pivots around Carmen, an alluring gypsy who has the power to seduce any man who suits her fancy. Don José, a corporal, throws honor aside in pursuit of Carmen, who soon casts off her ardent lover for the handsome toreador, Escamillo. Jealousy and passion seal Carmen's fate as Don José murders Carmen while the crowd inside the bullring cheers for Escamillo.

I loved everything about Carmen! Judging for the thunderous applause last night, so did everyone else! Although it is 3 hours long with two intermissions, the time flew by! Whether you are a seasoned fan or someone who has just been thinking about attending an opera, you don't want to miss Carmen!! She will seduce you into loving the opera forever!

PERFORMANCES: at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 3 p.m.

PRE-OPERA TALKS FOR CARMEN: Free to ticket holders.
Pre-Opera Talks are held one hour prior to each performance inside the John A. Williams Theatre at the Cobb Energy Centre and provide opera attendees a free sneak peek into the opera they are about to see.

Tickets are $25 -$132 plus tax, convenience and venue fees.
Purchase online at  atlantaopera.org or call 404-881-8885  (Mon-Fri, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.), In-person – Visit the Bank of North Georgia Box Office at the Cobb Energy Centre


1) loly said:
Hello i'm one of the flamenco dancers performing in Carmen. Thank you for this good review on the opening night. It was indeed a very exciting, grandiose and vibrant! Looking forward to the next shows! I'd like to correct however that it is not 'flamingo' music but 'flamenco'. thanks!
1 year, 8 months ago
2) Becky said:
Oops! Thanks for the correction!
1 year, 8 months ago

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