Opera Australia is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its national touring program with a new production of Bizet’s Carmen by director Matthew Barclay. Carmen will be presented at Dubbo Regional Theatre on Saturday 19 June at 7.30pm, with assistance from the Macquarie Conservatorium and the Youth Chorus.
Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) Manager, Linda Christof, said partnering with the Macquarie Conservatorium is a fantastic opportunity for the Youth Chorus to be able to perform onstage to hundreds of people.
“We are thrilled to once again partner with the Macquarie Conservatorium. The Youth Chorus will perform in this production of Carmen. After months of hard work and rehearsals led by their talented teachers Vivienne Winther and Raelene Burn, the Children’s Chorus step onstage and perform side-by-side with some of Opera Australia’s finest singers,” said Ms Christof.
The travelling troupe of 32 people including cast, crew, and a chamber orchestra will stop at more than 40 cities and towns across Australia and play to around 30,000 people.
Traditionally the national tour alternates each year between the northern and southern states, however with the cancellation of last year’s tour due to COVID-19, this 25th anniversary tour will be a combination of both, travelling from Hobart and Warrnambool in the south to Darwin and Katherine in the north, the Gold Coast in the east and Margaret River in the west and more than 30 other places in between.
Set in Seville in Franco’s socially conservative 1960s Spain, the opera follows the ill-fated relationship of a free spirited gypsy woman, Carmen, and the passionate and ultimately destructive police corporal-turned-rebel Don Jose.
Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini firmly believes that opera resonates just as strongly with audiences outside the major cities, which is why he’s looking forward to bringing the show to regional areas.
“We’ve had such a terrific response over the years, and in fact reaching this 25 year milestone is testament to the level of support this tour attracts right across the country.
“It’s an opportunity for Australians to experience the traditional art-form, often for the first time, performed by excellent singers and musicians, that also includes a children’s chorus from each local town or city, giving them invaluable experience with a professional touring company,” he said.
Director Matthew Barclay is honoured to have been asked to direct this 25th anniversary tour.
“I’m really excited to create this production of Carmen, and aware that for some people it may be their first encounter with Bizet’s opera, and for that reason I really hope the production enables them to fall in love with the work.”
“Carmen really has it all, some of opera’s greatest music and most famous tunes, Spanish flair, passion, tragedy and a truly enigmatic character in Carmen, but above all it’s about love. It’s the ideal way to showcase world-class opera on stages around Australia,” said Matthew.