Queen Elizabeth Theatre | Vancouver, British Columbia
Topping off their next season, the Vancouver Opera introduces Carmen, Georges Bizet’s magnum opus, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 28, Sunday afternoon. Bear witness to the teetering tryst Carmen (Sandra Piques Eddy), a fiery gypsy, partakes with Don José (Alok Kumar), a former soldier whose heart belies a dangerous darkness. Maestro Leslie Dala will conduct four exhilarating acts depicting the silent war between class and gender in this unrelenting force of 19th-century romantic thriller. Directed by Rachel Peake, this production will bring back the original French libretto written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. It will also feature a star-studded supporting cast, which includes Jonelle Sills, Nathan Keoughan, and Alain Coulombe. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, once again, offers its historical stage for Canada’s second-largest opera company. The venue can seat nearly 3,000 patrons and astound with world-class lights and sight lines. Click the “Get Tickets” button to save your seats for the Vancouver Opera’s second showing of Carmen!
Next year, the critically acclaimed Vancouver Opera will feature Carmen as part of its seasonal exhibition of perennial opera classics. This engagement will overlap the last week of April and the first week of May, with its second show marked for April 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
In its 1875 premiere, Georges Bizet’’s final foray into the operatic discipline was panned by critics and audiences alike. But times change, and the last century has decided a different verdict. Carmen, in today’s zeitgeist, is a prominent work discussed and performed on the world stage: a boldly defiant story of twisted passion underlined by Bizet’s music and Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy’s groundbreaking libretto.
“What gives Carmen this enduring power? First, it is a happy conjunction of a compelling story and compelling music. The story is flesh and blood, dance and song, sex and violence and death, all made vibrantly real through the music, with its ravishing tunes, rich harmonies, forceful rhythms, and superb orchestration.”
Born from Prosper Mérimée’s 1875 eponymous novella, the tale follows the relationship between Carmen and Don José, one a rebellious gypsy, the other a possessive deserter. In four acts teeming with song and fervor, audiences will behold an operatic commentary of gender dynamics and class conflict framed through a ruinous affair. Desire begets passion. Passion begets attention. Attention begets jealousy. Jealousy begets blood.
After last year’s “The Pearl Fishers,” Rachel Peak returns to direct another classic from Bizet, with Maestro Leslie Dala at the podium. The production will also showcase mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy and tenor Alok Kumar in the leading roles, supported by an all-star cast of secondary characters:
Jonelle Sills as Micaela
Nathan Keoughan as Escamillo
Alain Coulombe as Zuniga
Luka Kawabata as Le Dancaïre
Jeremy Scinocca as Le Remendado
Simran Claire as Mercedes
Heidi Duncan as Frasquita
Danlie Rae Acebuque as Morales
Vancouver Opera’s Carmen will be performed in French, with projected English titles, at the renowned Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Here, an audience of up to 3,000 can listen to the most revered arias in history, from the alluring “Habanera” to the riveting “Toreador Song,” heightened by the venue’s finely tuned acoustics. Book your reservations soon for this highly anticipated second show on Sunday, April 28, 2024.