French composer Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” earned an acclaim from Friedrich Nietzsche, and a “Carmen Fantasy” for violin written by Pablo de Sarasate won the hearts of classical music lovers. It is indeed an opera that even beginners would easily fall for. The Solopera Company, which was awarded an SAC Award in 2015, will showcase the French opera at the Seoul Arts Center.
The opera centers around Carmen, a gypsy portrayed as one of the most prominent femme fatale characters, and Don Jose, a naïve soldier seduced by Carmen. The fancy rhythms of musical numbers take the audience to Andalusia, Spain, full of bright sunlight and fresh air blown from the Mediterranean Sea. Giacomo Andrico, a famous set designer who has worked across the Europe, will decorate the stage with a dazzlingly white plastered wall. Producer Giandomenico Vaccari will direct the opera, whose previous work in 2016 “Norma” was sold out in Catania, Italy.
The main character Carmen will be played by Choo Hee-myung, one of the top mezzo sopranos in South Korea, and Giuseppina Piunti, an Italian mezzo soprano who has played the same role across the world including La Scala Theater in Milan. Meanwhile, Don Jose will be played by Giancarlo Monsalve, a Chilean tenor whose singing and acting skills had been already proved by the live broadcast video of “Carmen” aired in European movie theaters in 2015, and Dario Di Vietri, who made successful debut at the Verona Arena. Sopranos Kim Eun-hee and Hwang Jin-ah will take the role of Micaela, while baritones Elia Fabbian and Woo Joo-ho have been cast to play the toreador Escamillo.
In addition, Italian conductor Alberto Veronesi, one of the most famous conductors in the opera world along with Antonio Pappano, will lead the orchestra. He is serving as the art director of the Comunale Theater in Bologna and the head of the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago. The Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and Winner Opera Chorus will also join the stage.