“Carmen” presented by Undercroft Opera

NEWS from UNDERCROFT OPERA

Undercroft Opera presents Bizet’s tragedy Carmen

An alluring gypsy. A handsome officer. The world’s most fiery love story, told to some of opera’s favorite music. Don’t miss the power of Carmen’s story as it is imaginatively retold to the pulsations of flamenco guitar and dance. Intimate. Irresistible.

(Pittsburgh, PA—May 28, 2013)  Love. Contempt. Temptation. And the masterful music of Georges Bizet propels Carmen, a tale of sensuality, jealousy, struggle, and intrigue staged and sung in English by UNDERCROFT OPERA, June 20-23, The Antonian Theatre, Carlow University, 3333 5th Ave, in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Oakland (15213). Tickets and information at: www.undercroftopera.org. Call 412.422.7919

Undercroft Opera presents one of the world’s most popular operas, composed by Georges Bizet in 1875. Carmen has been widely acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet represented, musically, the emotions and suffering of his characters. The opera tells the story of the downfall of Don Jose, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery Gypsy, Carmen. The libretto was based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Merimee.

This new production of Carmen, sung  in English, is directed by Patrick Brannan and accompanied by the Undercroft Orchestra, conducted by Walter Morales. A cast of 10 singers appear each performing in two of the four performances. The Children’s Chorus of the Eastern Area Youth Chorale and Dancers from Bodiography Contemporary Ballet also appear.

Performances are Thurs., Fri., and Sat., June 20, 21, and 22 at 7 pm and Sun., June 23 at 2 pm. Admission is $15-38. Groups of 10 or more received an additional discount. Tickets are on sale at www.undercroftopera.org and at the door.

Special Preview “Highlights” Performance featuring opera covers (understudies) for lead roles and Lecture: Saturday, June 15 at 3:00 pm, Greenfield Presbyterian Church, 3929 Coleman Street, Pittsburgh, 15207. Admission: $15. Patrons who attend receive $5 off a Mainstage ticket for the fully-staged Carmen.

ABOUT UNDERCROFT OPERA:
Undercroft Opera exclusively showcases local talent in traditional operatic productions. The vision of Undercroft, founded in 2006, is to provide Pittsburgh area singers and instrumentalists with an artistic outlet and a greater sense of community, while giving Pittsburgh audience members the opportunity to discover and experience the operatic talent that is literally in their own backyard.

www.undercroftopera.org
E-mail: Info@undercroftopera.org
FACEBOOK:  Undercroft Opera
Call:  412.422.7919

The Story of Bizet’s Carmen:
Carmen, a young gypsy woman, catches the attention of Don Jose, a handsome Corporal of Dragoons. Completely taken, Jose abandons his childhood sweetheart Micaela and deserts his military duties to be with Carmen. When Jose loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo, Jose kills Carmen in a jealous rage.

About the Singers:
Carmen, the alluring gypsy is sung by Rachel Milligan and Melissa Bailey. Michael McCullough and William Andrews sing the role of Don Jose, the handsome Corporal of Dragoons. The role of Escamillo, the Toreador, is sung by Zach Luchetti and Joseph Han. Micaela, who loves Don Jose, is sung by Kathryn Donaldson and Gail Novak. Liz Rishel and Jillian Marini sing the role of Frasquita, a companion of Carmen. Mercedes, a companion of Carmen, is sung by Timmi Williams and Kaitlin Very. Morales, a Corporal of Dragoons, is sung by Justin Morrison. Zuniga, Lieutenant of Dragoons, is sung by Sean Donaldson. Dancairo, a smuggler, is sung by Marcus Kim. William storm sings the role of Remendado, a smuggler.

The Undercroft Opera Chorus portrays soldiers, young men, cigarette factory girls, Escamillo’s supporters, Gypsies, merchants, police, bullfighters, and urchins. The artistic team includes: Chorus Master – Ben Filippone; Choreographer – Melissa Taylor; Children’s Chorus Directory – Barb Spiri; Stage Manager – Garth Schafer; Assistant Director/Assistant Stage Manager – Ruthie Snoke; Rehearsal Accompanist/Coash – Josie Merlino; Costume Designer – Robin Geisler; Scenic Designer – Christine Eunyong Lee; Lighting Designer – Carolyn Jones; Technical Director – Neil Sederburg; House Manager – Cheryll Chakrabarti; Artistic Director/Producer – Mary Beth Sederburg.

About the Opera:
With its first performance of Georges Bizet’s Carmen on March 3, 1875, the opera was not particularly successful at first. The opera is based on Prosper Merimee’a novella of the same name. The opera, written in the genre of opera comique, tells the story of the downfall of Don Jose, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery Gypsy, Carmen.

The depictions of proletarian life, immorality and lawlessness, and the tragic outcome in which the main character dies on stage, broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial.Carmen initially gained its reputation through a series of productions outside France, and was not revived in Paris until 1883; thereafter it rapidly acquired celebrity and continues to be one of the most frequently performed operas.

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