Opera Theatre Presents "La Tragedie de Carmen"

The UALR Opera Theatre will present La Tragédie de Carmen, Peter Brook’s adaptation of the famous opera Carmen, on Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm and on Sunday, April 19 at 3:00 pm in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the UALR Fine Arts Building.

The original Carmen by George Bizet premiered in 1875 in Paris. “Our version preserves all the gypsy melodies and passionate love songs that have made Carmen a timeless favorite of audiences around the world,” said director Edward Crafts.

Crafts remarked that he is pleased to present a mainstay of the operatic repertoire. “University opera programs seldom are able to perform the major 19th-century operas because the vocal and production requirements are too demanding,” he said. “However, we are very fortunate to have a cast of vocally mature singers who can do justice to this exciting music.”

The production features Satia Spencer of De Witt as the gypsy Carmen; Matthew Tatus of Jacksonville as the volatile renegade Jose; Shaina Erwin of Little Rock as Jose’s former sweetheart; Beau Humble of Little Rock and Lewis Heard II of Little Rock alternating as Esamillo, a toreador and Jose’s rival; Jansen Goodwin of Little Rock as Captain Zuniga; Phillip Murray of Benton Harbor, MI, as Lillas Pastia; Jeremy Kinchen as Garcia of Pine Bluff, and Steven Armstrong of Little Rock as a gypsy.

Music Director Dr. Bevan Keating will conduct the orchestra for these performances. “This arrangement of Carmen is scored for a chamber orchestra which makes it perfect for the intimate performing space of the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall,” said Keating. Currently, UALR is the only opera program in Arkansas to offer two productions with orchestra each year.

The opera will be performed in French, with surtitles and dialogue in English.

General admission tickets are $15; UALR students may reserve free tickets. For reservations, please call the Music Department Box Office at (501) 569-8993.

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