uOttawa Opera performs Carmen

Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Opera: Bizet’s Carmen

University of Ottawa Opera Company

Directed by Doreen Taylor-Claxton

With Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alain Trudel

Four performances: January 26-27-28-29

Carmen as you have never considered it!

Join the outstanding singers and orchestral players of the uOttawa School of Music on a dramatic musical journey across the ocean and into the future.  It is 2020 and against the backdrop of a Europe deep in crisis, one tormented Canadian soldier has gone missing. This fully staged production promises to move, entertain and make you think again about one of opera’s most familiar and beloved stories.

The School of Music is pleased to present the University of Ottawa Opera Companyh production of George Bizet’s Carmen as you have never considered it before. Four performances of the opera will be presented in Huguette Labelle Hall, Tabaret (550 Cumberland Street) on Thursday to Saturday, January 26-27-28 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m. 

This double cast production will be sung in French with dialogue in English, with a running time of two and a half hours which includes one intermission.  Featured soloists include guest artists Philip Klaassen and Corey Arnold as Don Jose as well as singers from across Canada who have come to study music at the University of Ottawa:  Alyssa Curto and Lydia Piehl as Carmen, Jordanne Erichsen and Jeanine Williams as Micaela,  Kevin Burke and Adam Kuiack as Escamillo. New libretto and stage direction for the production is by Doreen Taylor-Claxton and maestro Alain Trudel will conduct the University of Ottawa Chamber Orchestra.

The year is 2020 and the world is in turmoil.  Brexit in the UK has inspired a similar referendum in France. In the spring of 2017 the National Front wins a decisive victory in France causing the country to leave the European Union. Greece and Ireland default on their loan payments; Russia, with Putin at its helm, is facing an economic and social crisis; the fracture of the European Union is imminent. As borders close, refugees join with other nomadic groups of Roma people while the Spanish government faces separatist pressure and a problem with arms smuggling to radical groups via the Strait of Gibraltar. Canada sends troops to stabilize the strait.  Meanwhile, a Canadian corporal has gone AWOL and his mother is desperate for answers. He had recently been visited by a high school sweetheart who, upon reporting that he seemed distant and pre-occupied, risks another trip to Spain to find out what has happened.

Lauded by critics for her “exquisite” singing and welcomed by audiences for her emotional commitment to performance, soprano, Doreen Taylor-Claxton has been heard in recital for CBC Radio; Jeunes Artistes, Artscape and Classical Encounters.  She has been a featured artist with The University of Ottawa Orchestra, The Strings of St. John’s, The Toronto Sinfonietta and The Impressions in Jazz Orchestra.  Her discography includes Imprints: Music by Colin Mack, CanSona Arts Media, (2009) HAIL: Canadian Art Song, CanSona Arts Media (2006) and Inspiration 4, University of Ottawa Press (2006).  She placed first at the national level of the Canadian Music Competitions in 1997. She has worked with the NAC Pops Orchestra, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Easy Street Productions, The Ottawa Stilt Union, Odyssey Theatre, Deluxe Hot Sauce, Bear & Co., The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival and Upper Canada Playhouse.  She is delighted to join the faculty at the University of Ottawa to direct this production of Carmen.

Praised by La Presse for his “immense talent as conductor, musician and performer”, Canadian conductor Alain Trudel is Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval and Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is also Principal Guest conductor of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, was Principal Guest Conductor of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and guest musical advisor for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.  Trudel was also the CBC Radio Orchestra conductor, taking the orchestra to new heights of artistic quality, as well as public and critical acclaim.  He has conducted every major orchestra in Canada as well as orchestras in the UK, USA, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Japan, Hong-Kong, Malaysia and Latin America. First known to the public as “the Jascha Heiftz of the trombone” (Le monde de la musique), Alain Trudel has been a guest soloist with orchestras worldwide including Philharmonique de Radio-France, Hong-Kong Philharmonic, Austrian Radio Orchestra, Festival Musica Strasbourg (France), Klangbogen Festival (Vienna), Akiyoshidai and Hamamatsu festival (Japan). Alain Trudel is an international Yamaha artist.

For well over 30 years, the School of Music at the University of Ottawa has offered a course in Opera which gives young singers the opportunity to sing in an operatic production.  In addition to learning a role, students are involved in all aspects of the production process. 

Tickets, at the price of $20.34 and $9.04 for students (taxes included), are available for purchase on line (uottawa-opera.eventbrite.ca).  Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the uOttawa School of Music office (103 - 610 Cumberland) for $25 and $15 for students, and any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

For more information about this and other School of Music concerts and events, please contact us at 613-562-5733 or visit our website: www.music.uottawa.ca.

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