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Intellect

BYU Opera Program to present Bizet's "Carmen"

Brigham Young University's College of Fine Arts and Communications will present Georges Bizet's classic opera "Carmen" Oct. 23 through Nov. 2 in the de Jong Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Passionate and powerful, "Carmen" explores the darkness and tragedy of foolish love, set to the exquisite haunting musical score that has captivated opera aficionados the world over.

Tickets at $12 for the general public and $9 with a student or faculty ID are available in the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 378-4322 or at www.byu.edu/hfac. Tickets for preview performances Oct. 23 and 24 are half price. There will be no performance Monday.

Lawrence Vincent, director of the BYU opera program and director of "Carmen" said, "'Carmen' is an opera that not only pushes our emotional buttons, but also teaches in a few hours many of life's gravest lessons. One of these lessons I call the 'second step.'"

Torn between two women-one faithful and simple, one wild and enticing-Don Jose must choose which one to love. With his career and freedom at stake, he risks losing more than his heart.

"Even in the face of his conscience, his will to change for the better and his desire to yield to the prayers of his mother-as embodied in the person of Michaela -are eventually overpowered by his addiction to Carmen," Vincent said. "Don Jose becomes both perpetrator and victim as the obsession he so coveted casts him aside."

Bizet's opera leaves us with the devastating reality that each choice we make can lead away from or eventually to that thing which may consume or destroy us, both body and soul.

"This timeless message is particularly relevant in an age where lines of propriety have become blurry or are wholly absent," Vincent said.

"Carmen" will be performed in French with English supertitles.

The opera will be accompanied by the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Kory Katseanes, BYU professor of music, and the Utah Valley Children's Chorus under the direction of Kay Asay.

Performers include undergraduate and graduate students in the BYU School of Music. Singing the role of Carmen are Lyndsey Stewart, Suzanne Wootton and Francesa Forsth. The part of Don Jose will be performed by Brian Stucki and Sangin Han. Michaela will be performed by Kara Brandt and Michelle Scott.

The scenic and costume design is by Richard J. Clifford, chorus master is Joseph Hoffman, choreographer is Jennie Creer-King, make-up and hair design is by Janet Swenson and Michael Handley is the lighting designer. The stage manager is Michelle Gibbs.

Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen

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