LAWRENCE - The University of Kansas Opera proudly presents four performances of “The Tragedy of Carmen,” Peter Brook’s adaptation of the Bizet classic. The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 in Murphy Hall’s Robert Baustian Theatre (formerly the Black Box Theatre).
Georges Bizet’s Carmen is among the most performed operas in the world. Brook’s 1983 adaptation pares Bizet’s original four-act opera down to its most essential parts, while retaining much of its well-known music including: Carmen’s “Habanera” and “Seguidilla,” Don Jose’s “Flower Song,” and Escamillo’s “Toreador Song.” Bill Theisen, director of opera and associate professor at the University of Iowa, will direct the less-than-90-minute production, featuring a cast of seven. Mark Ferrell, KU director of opera, will conduct a chamber ensemble and the cast through the beautifully familiar, yet newly realized, score.
“The work that Peter Brook has achieved with The Tragedy of Carmen extends beyond a simple adaptation, said director Bill Theisen. “The tragic scheme of Bizet's original work is left intact, but it has been highlighted and streamlined in an exciting and theatrical way. The power of Brook's adaptation stems from the transposition of the original material into a different aesthetic that draws its nourishment from the mainstream of 21st century performance.”
Theisen has directed over 100 productions for theatre and opera companies from coast to coast. Recent directing credits include The Pirates of Penzance for Santa Fe Opera, Showboat with Gateway Playhouse, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Barber of Seville, and The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sweeney Todd with Cleveland Opera, The Fourth Wall at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, The Magic Flute for Virginia Opera,A Little Night Music with Seaside Music Theater, The Mikado with Opera Carolina, Seussical at First Stage Children’s Theatre, and Into the Woods at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts.
Mark Ferrell is KU director of opera and a coach-accompanist in KU's Division of Voice and Opera. He has worked as conductor or associate conductor with Chicago Lyric Opera; L'Opera de Montreal; San Francisco Opera; Dallas Opera; Houston Grand Opera; Opera Company of Philadelphia; Tulsa Opera; Opera Theater of St. Louis; Kansas City Lyric Opera; and the Utah Festival Opera Company.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance with cash or check only. All seats are general admission. Advance tickets available exclusively in Murphy Hall Room 460. For ticket information call 785-864-3436.
For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or visit music.ku.edu.