Southern Opera presents


October 4–14, 2007

ITR Auditorium

Carmen is the world's favourite opera for good reason. Bizet unites unforgettable melodies, Spanish rhythms, and blazing orchestral colours to create a savage drama of love and jealousy, sex and death - a tragedy played out in a glare as bright as a bullring. "There's an earthy reality to everything about the music," says conductor Brian Law. "It captures perfectly everything that is going on on the stage - from the seduction of Don Jose to the pomposity of Escamillo".

The story concerns a beautiful young gypsy with a fiery temper. Carmen is not careful with her love and is responsible for the downfall of many men. She woos the corporal Don Jose, leading him to mutiny against his superior. Infatuated with Carmen, Don Jose joins her band of smugglers. For a brief period he is happy with Carmen, but is driven to madness when she turns from him to the bullfighter Escamillo.

Stunning Israeli mezzo soprano, Rinat Shaham, arguably one of the greatest Carmens in the world, will head a sensational cast that includes world-leading tenor Vinson Cole as Don Jose, Australian Joshua Bloom as Escamillo and New Zealand's Suzanne Prain as Micaela. Elric Hooper will direct and Brian Law will lead the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra,"

"If you like "Carmen" - and you should - see this one... (Rinat Shaham) ... is a star"

"...Rinat Shaham takes hold of the title role and never lets go; her tour de force performance is unmissable."

"The Times" UK - August 2004

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