Stony Brook Opera will present La tragédie de Carmen, Peter Brook’s brilliant adaptation of Bizet’s opera Carmen, on Thursday, February 16, at 7 pm at the Southampton Cultural Center, and on Saturday, February 18, at 8 pm at Staller Center. Timothy Long, associate professor of music, will conduct the cast and members of the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Joachim Schamberger returns as stage director and Jeanette Yew as lighting designer.
“I am very excited about this production, which is our chamber opera for this season,” said David Lawton, artistic director of Stony Brook Opera. “La tragédie de Carmen is a perfect fit for Stony Brook Opera. With its shorter length and its reduced orchestral forces, it is ideally suited to our young singers. Peter Brook abridged Bizet’s famous opera to a theatrically riveting evening of about 85 minutes in duration and focused the action entirely on the scenes involving the four principals: Carmen, Don José, Micaëla and Escamillo. He eliminated the chorus and had the distinguished French composer Marius Constant reduce Bizet’s symphony orchestra to a chamber orchestra of 15 players. For the spoken dialogues in his adaptation, Brook drew more closely upon Prosper Merimée’s original story than Bizet’s librettists had.”
“When we think of Carmen we often think of love, passion and sexual obsession,” said Schamberger. “Although these themes are obviously present in the opera, the piece may ultimately not be about what is love, but rather, what is freedom?”
Tickets for the Southampton performance are $20 general, $10 for students under 21, and are available in advance online or at the door beginning 40 minutes before the performance. For more information visit www.southamptonculturalcenter.org or call (631) 287-4377.
General admission for the Stony Brook performance is free, with a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. For more information contact the Department of Music at (631) 632-7330.