With opening night of ‘Carmen’ on Thursday, October 20, the excitement at Cape Town Opera has been palpable. The cast, technical team, wardrobe department and make-up artists have been hard at work and tonight is their opportunity to make an impression on Cape Town’s opera faithful.
“What has been a real joy for me on the journey of this production of ‘Carmen’ has been the combination of spectacle and the French flair and lightness that Maestro Tim Murray has brought to the musical score,” says Director Michael Williams, who is reviving his acclaimed production from 2011 that is running until October 29.
Writing in the Sunday Argus, Beverley Brommert describes this production of ‘Carmen’ as “a marriage of local and imported operatic lustre.”
Celebrated Canadian tenor Luc Robert plays Don José, his signature role, which he has played six times, most recently at the Frankfurt Opera Theatre.
Cape Town Opera Studio singer Noluvuyiso Mpofu plays the role of his jilted girlfriend, Micaëla.
Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best of our younger baritones,” South African born William Berger takes the role of Carmen’s lover, Escamillo,” the famous and flamboyant bullfighter.
Violina Anguelov once again takes the role of Carmen after her performance in 2011 was celebrated by both critics and the public alike. “Carmen is many mezzo-soprano’s dream role and I feel so lucky that I get to perform it. For me everything is special in this role,” says Anguelov.
She adds, “I feel so privileged that I am able to perform Michael William’s production not only once, but twice.
Michael presents everything with such sincerity and truth that all the characters come alive and are relevant to the times we live in.”
One heart-warming inclusion is the ERUB Children’s Choir, a dynamic multicultural children’s choir.
Established in 1986 by the late Frank Pietersen, the name ERUB is derived from the initials of the various areas in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town from which its members were drawn, e.g. Elsies River, Ravensmead, Uitsig and Bishop Lavis.
If you cannot make it on Thursday, there are four more performances:
Saturday, October 22 at 6pm
Tuesday, October 25 at 7.30pm
Thursday, October 27 at 7.30pm
Saturday, October 29 at 6pm
“For anyone on the fence, having seen Michael Williams’ production in 2011 I can attest to its quality and spectacle,” says Peter Tromp of The Next 48hOURS. “Possessing the same wow factor as a full scale musical, it is a wonderful introduction to the genre for people unfamiliar with opera. It certainly converted me with its passionate performances and the absolutely awe inspiring music of Georges Bizet. Don’t miss this one, since it doesn’t come our way very often.”
Bookings are through Computicket.