Ellen Kent presents Carmen, a 4 Act Opera written by Georges Bizet and presented in French, is passionate; dramatic and full of character. The opera was first performed in Paris on the 3rd March 1875 and has a rather memorable ‘disastrous’ opening night. Most of the audience and critics by the end of the first interval were left puzzled and confused of the performance that was shown before them, a ground-breaking Opera at time, but throughout the show people began to understand and critics and audience members alike became enthusiastic and loved the performance. The original production ran for 45 performances - not bad at the time.

The story follows Carmen, the most provocative gypsy of all the cigarette factory girls. There are a lot of men and women. She sings ‘Habanera’ and, she fascinates the young men there. But, only a soldier of the guard, Don Jose isn’t interested in her. Carmen provocatively throws a flower to him, and leaves. The girls who went back to the cigarette factory, cause a quarrel. Carmen is to blame, and she is arrested. However, Carmen seduces the guard, Jose, and runs away. A month later, Jose who was imprisoned for letting Carmen slip away, has just been released, and he goes to meet her at a tavern. With that flower in his hand, He tells her his feelings.
Carmen requires Jose not to report for roll call, but to stay with her. Jose is worried. He can’t help himself to join the smugglers with her. Carmen’s group members are smugglers. Jose later regrets his choice. Carmen is already in love another man, Escamillo who is a bullfighter. Then, Jose’s childhood friend, Micaela, visits him. She informs him that his mother is seriously ill. Jose decides to go home. The following month, at the square in front of the bullfight arena, Escamillo who is Carmen’s lover, is welcomed by spectators. He enters the arena. Carmen remains at the square, then, Jose appears. He demands she leave with him, but she refuses to. In rejection to his persistence, Carmen throws away the ring that Jose once gave her. Jose stabs her to death with a dagger, and he is then dumbfounded by his actions and regrets his decisions immediately.

Carmen was played incredibly by Liza Kadelnik, with perfect characterisation and an amazing expression of emotion and an instant hit with audiences. Vitalii Liskovetskyi played the difficult role of Don José and took the role on completely and with confidence, and incredible voice that blew you away with every note and brought a gritty and forceful passion to the character. Escamillo was played by Lurie Gisca, a more light hearted character of the show and pranced around the stage with great gravitas and authority. Finally, the real heart of the show was for myself Micaela, a peasant girl who is infatuated with Don José who without a doubt created the most well acted and beautifully sung character of the night, she entranced the audience magnificently and left you speechless. You felt her emotions of the longing to be with her true love and risking her life to be with the man she loves.

The show from the beginning was magnificent and grand. From the enormous and stupefying sets to the large and precise orchestra. The night was conducted by the thrilling Nicolae Dohotaru and brought the trip to a tremendous higher level and brought a true depth to the performance. The orchestra sounded fantastic together and fit perfectly to the voices of the performers. A perfect night at the Opera with a thrilling and gorgeous production.

Reviewer: Brad Wilson

Reviewed: 19th March 2016