Okay, it’s time for a confession. Although Carmen is one of the most performed and beloved operas ever, I’ve never seen it. We all know the famous tunes that have made their way into commercials and mainstream movies, but until you see Carmen, you have no idea of the intense story and dynamic characters that make the opera what it is.
A few minutes before the first dress rehearsal of Carmen, I poked around backstage with childlike anticipation. With the addition of costumes, lighting and with all the scenery in place, the production never seemed more real and vivid. There were few breaks in the action during the run, and for being the first dress rehearsal, most would agree that the company is “in a good place.” I was amazed by the dedication and attention to detail by every person involved with the production.
The "Cigarette -girls" run through a scene.
General/Artistic Director Pat Pearce and Festival Production Manager
Karen Federing chat at the Tech Table before the dress rehearsal begins.
Part of the set of Carmen
Though the company’s hard work will undoubtedly pay off, some finishing touches still need to take place. Tim White, winner of “a walk on role in Carmen” at the 2010 Music & Martinis Fundraiser live auction, spent an hour during a recent afternoon in a fitting session for his costume. Mr. White will make his Central City Opera debut during one performance of Carmen this summer in the lively second act of the opera, where the gypsies and officers are lounging after dinner in Lillas Pastia’s Inn. This act is where the famous “Toreador Song” is featured. In a few moments, thanks to the production’s Costume Designer, Sara Jean Tosetti, Mr. White was transformed from a modern-day Coloradan to a pattern-clad gypsy.
Tim White, with daughter Logan, and Costume Designer Sara Jean Tosetti
looking over several of the costume renderings for Carmen
The finished product!
On stage, difficult staging will get an extra run-through before opening night and any technical difficulties will be worked out—all to create a flawless and engaging experience for those filling the seats of the Opera House. Carmen opens tomorrow, June 25th at 8 PM and runs in repertory through August 7. You can purchase tickets for as low as $20 online, or by calling the box office at (303) 292-6700.