January 14, 2019

VSU Opera Presents Highlights from “Carmen” Jan. 19-20

Mezzo-soprano and VSU graduate student Kimberly Milton will perform the title role in VSU Opera’s production of “Carmen.”

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Opera will present a concert version of “Carmen” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, on the Whitehead Auditorium stage. Tickets are on sale now.

The performances will feature highlights from George Bizet’s “Carmen,” the iconic opera that premiered in Paris in 1875.

“‘Carmen’ is about a gypsy woman in Spain who is very seductive and lawless,” said Dr. Tamara Hardesty, director of opera at VSU. “She flirts with soldier Don José, who falls madly in love with her and forgets his naive childhood sweetheart Micaela. José abandons his military duties to join Carmen's gypsy life, but she then rejects him for the fiery bullfighter Escamillo. At the end of the story, José stabs Carmen to death in a jealous rage. 

“Unlike many of the operas that VSU presents, this year we get a true operatic tragedy that tells the story of an ill-fated love that ends in murder. Audience members may recognize Carmen's famous aria ‘L'amour est un oiseau rebelle,’ in which she explains that her heart is a wild bird that can never be captured, as well as the Toreador (bullfighter) song that features Escamillo and the chorus.”

“Carmen” features libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy and is based on a novella of the same name by Prosper Mérimée.

The performances will feature VSU Opera student performers as well as professional performers accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Dr. Kenneth Kirk, professor of music. The performers will sing in French with translations projected for the audience.

Tickets for “Carmen” are $25 for adults, $20 for VSU faculty and staff and members of the military, $5 for children and non-VSU students, and free for current VSU students with a valid 1Card.

Whitehead Auditorium is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

A special Opera for Youth performance of “Carmen” is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. Admission is free.

Call the College of the Arts Outreach Office at (229) 333-2150 for tickets or more information, or visit https://www.ticketreturn.com/boxoffice/default.aspx to purchase tickets online.

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