Pamela Tan-Nicholson’s world premiere of TriOperas is now showing at the Peacock Theatre, and it is exactly what the name suggests. TriOperas reveals the stories behind three operatic epics under the names, Turandot, Butterfly, Carmen Reimagined. Having seen it, I can confidently say those expecting to see classical opera will be disappointed. Nevertheless, this ambitious show, which compresses Puccini and Bizet’s operas with operatic singing, kung-fu, breakdancing, ballet, tap, Chinese lion wushu, acrobatics and salsa, deserves credit for showcasing operatic works in a way that makes opera accessible to young theatregoers.
Opera wouldn’t be influential if it wasn’t for the role of the ‘diva’ (Italian for ‘goddess’) or ‘prima donna’. Its voices, the magnificent sopranos, tender contraltos, and mellifluous mezzo-sopranos are huge driving forces that foster our love for opera.
Opera is the one of the few artistic genres that elevates the status of women. Since the time of Handel and Mozart, opera’s trouser-roles have also played an influential part. They were specifically made for women to cross-dress as men, manly fighters and despairing boy-like lovers.
To celebrate Women’s Day, I want to share my favourite women in opera from voice to characterisation.
Could it be Bizet’s gorgeous score and the heartrending tragic tale that compels theatre-makers to recreate Carmen again and again?
This review includes spoilers.
When you hear the name ‘Carmen’ you automatically think of Georges Bizet’s operatic version, Spanish gypsy girls, bullfighters and a fiery temptress. That’s the traditional idea, anyway, but modern adaptations have taken the original French novella written by Prosper Mérimée and formed new and invigorating storylines.>>>
It was a bright Saturday morning in London, and I managed to speak to musical theatre performer and actor Rachel Lea-Gray on the phone. She is currently playing the lead role of Carmen in Phil Willmott‘s new production, Carmen 1808. The production’s run has already begun at the Union Theatre. I got to talk to Rachel about what she finds fascinating about Carmen, what challenges she faces performing her role, her love for Disney’s The Little Mermaid and what steaming your voice means. Much more below.
Carmen as you’ve never seen before
Apologises. This one is a long report because there was plenty to cover on Barrie Kosky’s production. Enjoy!
For those of you who are new to Bizet’s opera, you’ve heard the music before. Without knowing it, you’ve heard the music of Carmen in a perfume, insurance or car advert. It is the second most performed opera at the Royal Opera House (ROH), and many would recommend Carmen as an opera for first-timers to see, yet I’m unsure if I’d say the same for the opening night I attended on Monday.
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On 3 Nov., @LambethWindOrch shall be performing a #classicalmusic #concert dedicated to women’s music. #Conductor, John Holland speaks to me about the the concert, changes in #musiceducation, the position of #women in the classical music industry and more. trendfem.com/2018/10/q-a-jo…
.@WintervilleLDN is @Chivaree_Circus's #CRASH, a love story with thrilling acrobatics, aerial dance and ballet set to an electronic score. Its #creativeproducer, #EdwardGosling speaks to us about CRASH, where his love for the #circus came from and more... trendfem.com/2018/10/q-a-ed…
.@NYTREPcompany have revived the thought-provoking and critically acclaimed play by Evan Placey #NYTConsensual. Now showing @sohotheatre, associate director Anna Niland talks to us in an interview about the play, sex, consent, the #metoo movement and more. trendfem.com/2018/10/q-a-an… Retweeted by Trendfem.com🌸🎶
.@TeaBreakTheatre's #Frankenstein is showing at the @SuttonHouseNT . Here, its director Katherine Armitage discusses the challenges of putting on the production, her love for female writers & where she feels the voices of females are slowly making strides trendfem.com/2018/10/q-a-ka… Retweeted by Trendfem.com🌸🎶