Opera Kelowna brings Carmen to the stage

Opera Kelowna is staging Georges Bizet’s Carmen Aug. 16-19 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Talent for the show’s main roles have been brought in from around North America.

“The character itself is known as this stereotypical femme fatale; a promiscuous, flirtatious lady who gets what she wants,” mezzo-soprano Barbara King said of her role as Carmen.

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Set in Spain, though written and sung in French, Carmen follows the story of a flirtatious and hot-tempered Gypsy seductress, who steals the hearts of an army officer, Don José, and bullfighter, Escamillo.

Bizet staged Carmen in 1875, the year he died.

King believes Carmen’s character resonates with strong and modern female stage identities.

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King has been seen with Calgary and Edmonton Opera, as well as Opera Kelowna’s ‘Opera In the Park’ and ‘Opera Under the Stars’ concert series.

The main role is being shared by Suzanne Lommler, an American mezzo-soprano who makes her Opera Kelowna debut in this week’s show.

“As a young company bringing opera to the Okanagan, we strive to select programming that introduces audiences to the most iconic experiences the art form has to offer with a contemporary twist,” Opera Kelowna artistic director Alexandra Babbel said. “Having delighted our opera-goers with the magic of Mozart and set them swooning at La bohème, we decided this year to set their blood racing with the unbridled heat and dangerous passions of Bizet.”

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“It’s entertainment plus, plus to really connect to people in the community. It’s a really exciting time to be part of the company and be a part of that growth,” soprano Lara Ciekiewicz, who plays the role of Micaela, said.

Ticket information can be found on the Opera Kelowna website.

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