April 20, 7pm
Georges Bizet's Carmen | Opera Colorado 2006
Photo: P. Switzer
|Carmen||Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano|
|Don JosÃ©||Julian Gavin, tenor|
|Escamillo||David Pittsinger, bass-baritone|
|Micäela||Pamela Armstrong, soprano|
|MercÃ©dÃ¨s||Marcia Ragonetti, mezzo-soprano|
|MoralÃ¨s||Timothy Mix, baritone|
|Zuniga||Christopher Job, bass|
|Frasquita||Rebecca Koenigberg, soprano|
|Remendado||Daniel Fosha, tenor|
|DancaÃ¯re||Dean Thoma, baritone|
|Lillas Pastia||Jean-Pierre Verdier|
|Opera Colorado Chorus||John Baril, director|
|Colorado Children's Chorales||John Baril, director|
|Colorado Symphony Orchestra||Stephen Lord|
ACT I. In a square in Seville, a group of soldiers waits outside the guardhouse. A young woman, MicaÃ«la, approaches the officer MoralÃ¨s and asks about a soldier named Don JosÃ©. The men tease MicaÃ«la, and she leaves. Don JosÃ© arrives and discovers that MicaÃ«la has been looking for him. The cigarette factory bell rings, and the young men of the town watch for Carmen as the cigarette girls come into the square. They ask Carmen to love them, but she refuses. Love, she says, is like a wild birdâ€”free and unbound. Then she throws a flower at JosÃ©, who has paid her no attention. He is offended, but attracted to her at the same time. MicaÃ«la returns and brings JosÃ© a kiss from his mother; JosÃ© then gives MicaÃ«la a message and a kiss to pass on. She leaves.
A fight flares up among the cigarette girls over Carmen, who has wounded another girl in a fight. The officer Zuniga sentences Carmen to jail. He leaves, ordering JosÃ© to supervise her. Carmen appeals to JosÃ© for help. He succumbs to her advances and allows her to escape.
ACT II. At Lillas Pastiaâ€™s tavern, Carmen and her gypsy friends Frasquita and MercÃ©dÃ¨s celebrate their way of life. Escamillo arrives to much fanfare, proudly describing the life of a toreador. He is attracted to Carmen, but, gaining no ground with her, leaves. DancaÃ¯re and Remendado plan their next smuggling operation. But Carmen, to their dismay, refuses to go with them. Instead, she waits for JosÃ©. Imprisoned for allowing Carmenâ€™s escape, he has just been released from jail.
Reunited with Carmen, JosÃ© fervently proclaims his love for her. She dances for him but becomes angry when he insists that he must return to barracks. JosÃ© shows Carmen the flower she threw at him, telling her that he kept it and thought of her when he was in jail. Still he will not desert the army, and Carmen reviles him. Zuniga bursts in on them, provoking JosÃ© to insubordination. The smugglers take Zuniga captive, and JosÃ© finds himself an outlaw with them.
ACT III. In a mountain hideaway, the smugglers boast of the dangerous life they lead. Carmen argues with JosÃ© and then joins her gypsy friends, who are reading fortunes. The others find wealth and lovers in their cards, but Carmen finds only death in hers. The three women go off to distract the guards, who are looking for the smugglers.
MicaÃ«la comes looking for JosÃ©, praying for protection. Startled by a gunshot, she hides. Escamillo, seeking Carmen, meets JosÃ© instead. The two fight. Escamillo wins the first round, JosÃ© the second. As JosÃ© is about to kill the toreador, Carmen and DancaÃ¯re intercede. MicaÃ«la is spotted and brought out from her hiding place. She pleads with JosÃ© to return home. Carmen tells him to go, but he refuses to leave her. MicaÃ«la finally reveals that JosÃ©â€™s mother is dying. JosÃ© agrees to go, but warns Carmen that she will never be free of him.
ACT IV. In a square in Seville, the crowds prepare for the bullfights and hail Escamilloâ€™s arrival. The toreador and Carmen declare their love for one another Escamillo and the crowds leave, and Carmen finds herself alone in the square with JosÃ©. She tells him their love is over. JosÃ© begs her to come away with him but Carmen, defiant, tells him that she now loves Escamillo. She throws at JosÃ© the ring he gave her, and JosÃ© stabs her.
- Courtesy of Opera Colorado -