Opera Scotland

Carmen 2016Edinburgh Studio Opera

Read more about the opera Carmen

Edinburgh Studio Opera's Carmen could have disappointed none of the young audience on the opening night, many of whom were seeing an opera for the first time.

This was a full blooded performance by these young singers, in a well detailed production by Brock Roberts, with the set pieces well handled.  Under the musical direction of William Conway, the band of over thirty musicians gave a fine account of Bizet's tuneful score. Anna Keenan as Carmen made a fine impression on her ESO debut, and Robert Forrest was a fully rounded Don Jose. Jonathan Kennedy projected well as Escamillo too, dominating the stage. Monica Toll sang well in the thankless role of Micaela.

With young singers, what one gains in youthful appearances one can lose with wooden acting but the cast reached a creditable standard throughout. Attention had even been paid to military bearing.

The settings were simple and effective, dominated throughout by a portrait of General Franco. The production was set in the late 1930s and sung in the new English version by Christopher Cowell. The chorus moved well, and the dancers and children added to the atmosphere.

The venue, a converted church, seated an audience of just over two hundred people, given the space needed by the orchestra. Diction seemed poor at times, although the acoustics did not help. Is this really the right venue for such a large company? Perhaps there is a more suitable venue locally.

All in all, this was an absorbing evening, and all involved, the artists, production team and technical crew deserve congratulations. Surely many opera newbies in the audience will have been persuaded to come again.

Performance Cast

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Justin Auerbach

Micaëla a peasant girl

Monica Toll

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Robert Forrest

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Oliver Norman

Carmen a gypsy

Anna Keenan

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Claire Thompson

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Theodora Burrows

Escamillo a toreador

Jonathan Kennedy

Dancaïre a smuggler

Patrick Dodd

Remendado a smuggler

Samuel Jenkins

Performance DatesCarmen 2016

Map List

Assembly Roxy | Edinburgh

23 Feb, 19.00 24 Feb, 19.00 25 Feb, 19.00 26 Feb, 19.00 27 Feb, 19.00

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