Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Seattle Opera Scores Success With Its Latest "Carmen"

Anita Rachvelishvili as Carmen
(Photo: Elise Bakketun)
"More than most operas, the success of Carmen depends on the quality of its leading lady, and on Saturday, Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, in her Seattle debut, fashioned a portrayal of stunning power. There is something about her facial expressions, her style of singing and speaking, and her way of holding herself from which we learn that this Carmen is who she is, and not just someone else's idea of who she is. Her first aria, the sultry 'Habanera,' was curiously disjointed of line and failed to make its usual effect; but if this was due to first-night nerves, they were swiftly banished, and from then on we were treated to a glorious outpouring of impassioned and finely
Luis Chapa as Don José
(Photo: Elise Bakketun)
focused tone. Mexican tenor Luis Chapa sang strongly as Don José, who is not so much a hero as a plaything of destiny. He projected just the nebbish air of indecision that makes José putty in Carmen's hands — no competition for the sexy Escamillo and Zuniga of Michael Todd Simpson and Donovan Singletary. Norah Amsellem's Micaëla and the rest of the first-night cast provided exemplary support." [

For more information about the Seattle Opera and Carmen performances, click here.

David Krohn as Dancaïre, Donovan Singletary as Zuniga and Andrew Stenson as Remendado, during a dramatic scene. (Photo: Alan Alabastro)

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