Why ‘Carmen Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’ is the best date night
It’s true when Bizet scripted his famous opera ‘Carmen‘ in 1875, he never would’ve thought it would be played out on such an international – albeit floating – stage, received so loved by thousands.
Opera Australia has reimagined the classic and turned it out on the flotilla stage that has stunned the world for years now, the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its performers just set a new standard.
Overcoming the challenges that face all matter of tenors, baritones and sopranos singing on a stage with virtually no acoustics to support their voice, the likes of stunningly internationally acclaimed voices such as Jose Maria Lo Monaco (Carmen), Arnold Rutkowski (Don Jose), Luke Gabbedy (Escamillo) and Natalie Aroyan (Micaela) performed stunningly enough, it didn’t matter. Couple their performances with a fireworks display after the libretto’s most famed arias ‘Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre’ and the performance is a flooring one.
The beauty of this performance of Carmen is the minimalistic simplicity with which the angled, floating stage is utilised, yet the effectiveness with which the story is conveyed through the striking costumes designer by Julia Lynch and stage play Gale Edwards.
The character of Carmen if anything in the Handa incarnation is more alienatingly endearing through her charismatic gypsiness and hedonistic lifestyle that so carnally makes her the centre of attention. Jose Maria Lo Monaco adopted the role so seamlessly it’s almost like she was made to perform barefoot.
In telling the story of an alluring woman with the power of her sexuality and the flauntingly joyful way she used and abused it in the face of love, we can all relate. Couple it with a striking background and a cast worthy of bumping Opera Australia into position number one on the list of the world’s best opera companies, the production of Carmen in this year’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is a must-see.
This year’s production of ‘Carmen’ is on until 23 April 2017 at the Fleet Steps, Sydney Harbour. See more at their website.
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