Paris, Opera Comique, on the 3rd of March 1875 — The creation of Carmen is a veritable revolution: the music is strange and modern but above all so is the libretto, full of scenes of seduction, murder and Bohemian folklore, breaking with the mores of the period … the controversy that arose is doubtless one of the causes of the death of the composer a few weeks after the premiere.
And yet, if Carmen is today one of the most celebrated and most often-performed operas in the world, it is precisely thanks to the genial balance found by Bizet and his librettists: the musical themes and airs has a striking beauty that expresses the dramatic power of a superbly constructed libretto.
After Madame Butterfly in 2004, followed by Wozzeck and the Nozze di Figaro, Jean-François Sivadier returns to the Lille Opera to give substance to these contrasts (profundity and delicacy) and to shed light, through his skill in directing actors, on the cruel destinies of the characters. In this repertoire, Jean-Claude Casadesus at the head of the National Orchestra of Lille is fully at home: the sensitivity and enthusiasm of this great interpreter of French music are at the service of the score. He directs a new and youthful cast.
Stephanie d’Oustrac sings her first Carmen. She was recently at the Lille Opera for a charming and mischievous Perichole. The Canadian tenor Gordon Gietz reprises the role of Don Jose that he sang with great success at the Montreal Opera. The baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra returns to Lille as Escamillo, after La Traviata and l’Italiana in Algeri. They are supported by a team of young talents who are all either French or have studied in France: Eduarda Melo, Sarah Jouffroy, Raphaël Bremard, Loïc Felix, Regis Mengus and Renaud Delaigue.
This Carmen is a real event, with 10 exceptional performances planned to ensure the largest audience possible, one of the main objectives set by the Lille Opera.
Opera in four acts. Libretto by Henry Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, based on the novel by Prosper Merimee. Created on the 3rd of March 1875 at the Opera Comique in Paris.
Musical Direction Jean-Claude Casadesus (Nicolas Krüger the 19th & 27th May)
Stage Direction Jean-François Sivadier
Assistant to the Stage Director Véronique Timsit
Sets Alexandre de Dardel
Costumes Virginie Gervaise
Lights Philippe Berthomé
Stéphanie d’Oustrac Carmen
Gordon Gietz Don José
Olga Pasichnyk Micaëla
Jean-Luc Ballestra Escamillo
Eduarda Melo Frasquita
Sarah Jouffroy Mercédès
Renaud Delaigue Zuniga
Régis Mengus Moralès
Loïc Félix Le Dancaïre
Raphaël Brémard Le Remendado
Christophe Ratandra Lillas Pastia
National Orchestra of Lille Jean-Claude Casadesus / Région nord-pas de calais,
Lille Opera Choir, Choir Direction Yves Parmentier
Chœur maîtrisien du Conservatoire de Wasquehal, Direction Pascale Diéval-Wils
SATRUDAY 8 MAY
HAPPY DAY CARMEN
FREE ADMISSION FROM 2P.M to 6.30P.M
The Lille Opera opens wide its door, with free admission to all parts of the building for debates, concerts, workshops, lectures,… in the context of the Opera’s European Days.
SUNDAY 30 MAY
Public discussion with Jean-Claude Casadesus and Jean-François Sivadier after the performance.
3H with intermission
Performances with audio-description the 14th, 17th and 30th May 2010
Individual ticket sales start Saturday 13 March 2010 at 9 a.m.
Co-production of the Lille Opera, Caen Theatre
Other performances: Caen Theatre on October 2010
With the sponsorship of CIC BANQUE BSD-CIN,
of the CAISSE D’ÉPARGNE NORD FRANCE EUROPE,
of DALKIA NORD,
of the SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE.