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Opera

CARMEN

CARMEN

Carmen is a liberated woman: she values her independence and is ready to follow her feelings, irrespective of the cost. She bravely faces the challenges of fate, which—like in a Greek tragedy—eventually brings her death. Although this may be hard to believe, the opera’s premiere was a complete and utter flop. Contemporary audiences could not stomach a work that contradicted the socially approved norms. With time, though, what turned the play’s opening night into a failure 140 years ago, became the source of its lasting popularity. Georges Bizet successfully transformed the opera scene of his time. His “Carmen” was a story of passion: a testimony of the human struggle with the timeless experience of love. Bizet introduced lifelike, contemporary people onto the stage and turned the title protagonist into a lasting, cultural symbol of female strength. Yet it is the music, full of Spanish exoticism and gypsy sparkle, that remains the greatest strength of “Carmen.”

SYNOPSIS

The libretto was based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée, long-time friend of the emancipated writer George Sand. This is why the opera’s main protagonist was so unpalatable for the contemporary audience: her feminism was deemed “unworthy of a woman.” The main plot line follows the love story between a gypsy woman and a Basque—representatives of two nations that were discriminated against in Spain. The opera takes place around 1820 in Seville. The young Carmen, a worker in the cigar factory, meets officer Don José, who is besotted with the beautiful woman. However, with time, the gypsy shifts her fascination to bullfighter Escamillo, rejecting José’s feelings. Wanting to remain true to her ideals, the main of which was freedom, Carmen parts with Don José. The desperate man then kills the girl.

PRODUCTION

The set design remains faithful to the principles set out by Georges Bizet, at the same time coming closer to contemporary everyday reality. Consequently, instead of traditionally dressed officers of the 19th-century French army, we see contemporary soldiers at the square in front of the Seville factory. The figure of Carmen is also made to appear more modern, drawing on the stars of the silver screen. The show includes images that are strongly rooted in cinema—Carmen using a cigarette holder quite like Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” taking off her gloves like Rita Hayworth in “Gilda” and dying like the American dancer Isadora Duncan.


World premiere: 3 III 1875, Opéra-Comique, Paris
Premiere: 25 IX 2015

The production of the opera was financed from Bialystok City budget
IX 2015
3 hrs 15 min (two 15 min intermissions)
French (Polish subtitles)
45–100 PLN
Main Stage
Odeska 1

Gallery

Authors

Music: Georges Bizet
Libretto: Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy based on a novella by Prosper Mérimée

Creators

Music Director: Michał Klauza
Director, Adaptation, Set, Costume and Multimedia Designer: Beata Redo-Dobber
Choreographer: Zofia Rudnicka
Lighting Designer: Maciej Igielski
Choir Director: Violetta Bielecka
Children’s Choir Director: Ewa Barbara Rafałko
Music Cooperation / II Conductor: Grzegorz Berniak
Vocal Consultant: Tetyana Dranchuk
Producer: Damian Tanajewski

Libretto Translation: Dorota Sawka
Poster Designer: Leszek Żebrowski

CREATIVE TEAM

Assistant Conductor: Maciej Tomasiewicz
Assistant Director: Rafał Supiński
Assistant Set Designers: Wacław Tadeusz Ostrowski, Tijana Tyski
Assistant Choreographer: Jarosław Sołowianowicz
Executive Producer: Anna Jakubowska-Podsiad
Pianist-Choir Répétiteur: Monika Bierć
Pianist-Accompanist: Anna Krzysztofik-Buczyńska, Karina Komendera
Theatre Stage Managers: Maria Mitrosz, Radosław Zabłocki
Sound Technicians: Krzysztof Wolfard, Grzegorz Falkowski, Elżbieta Grzybek, Karol Kopeć, Mateusz Roman Pawelec
Lighting Technicians: Mateusz Łukaszuk, Barbara Jabłonowska, Karol Łobaczewski
Multimedia Technicians: Robert Burzyński, Piotr Grodzki, Adam Ostaszewski
Chief Stage Technician: Tomasz Parejko
Stage Technicians: Jarosław Bancerek, Piotr Przygoda
Set Construction Crew: Daniel Bąk, Piotr Bielawski, Artur Chajęcki, Grzegorz Czarnomysy, Dominik Gruszewski, Marcin Korsak, Tomasz Kossakowski, Rafał Mlenko, Łukasz Nieścierewicz, Andrzej Świderski
Stage Maintenance: Paweł Wysocki
Theatrical Make-up: Monika Żukowska
Make-up: Marta Lewkowska, Anna Łopatecka, Magdalena Szałaj
Hairstyles: Natalia Karaś
Prop Master: Aneta Komenda
Wardrobe Supervisors: Barbara Rożko, Tamara Fiedoruk, Teresa Kiejko, Eliza Matejczyk, Grażyna Polak, Marzena Śmietało
Planning Managers: Agnieszka Hryniewicka, Joanna Maliszewska

Cast

Carmen
Agnieszka Rehlis / Joanna Krasuska-Motulewicz / Iryna Zhytynska / Joanna Dobrakowska / Monika Ledzion-Porczyńska
Don José
Rafał Bartmiński / David Beucher
Escamillo
Dariusz Machej / Adam Woźniak
Micaëla
Ewa Vesin / Magdalena Molendowska / Anna Wolfinger / Agnieszka Dondajewska
Zuniga
Remigiusz Łukomski / Taras Kuzmych
Le Dancaïre
Łukasz Załęski / Mariusz Ruta
Le Remendado
Przemysław Borys / Tomasz Madej
Frasquita
Marta Brzezińska / Anna Wolfinger
Mercédès
Anna Bernacka / Monika Ziółkowska / Karolina Kuklińska
Moralès
Maciej Nerkowski / Mateusz Stachura / Taras Kuzmych
Lillas Pastia
Rafał Supiński / Bartłomiej Łochnicki

Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir, Children’s Choir and Orchestra

Dancers

Aneta Boćwińska-Bartoszuk
Radosława Bogusławska
Adrianna Kawecka
Iga Karol
Patrycja Kozłowska
Hanna Mocarska
Klaudia Nierodzik
Dagmara Statkiewicz
Tomasz Kaczyński
Bartosz Statkiewicz

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