Handa Opera Sydney Harbour Carmen THE F full cast

Behind ‘Carmen’ on Sydney Harbour with one of it its principal tenors

Arnold Rutkowski is one of the principal tenors in this year’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, taking on the role of Don Jose in the production of the classic by Bizet, ‘Carmen’.

Ahead of the performance’s debut this Friday on Sydney Harbour, we spoke to the Polish singer who let us in on a little bit of the man behind the character…

MORE: Read a review of Carmen by Opera Australia here

Handa Opera Sydney Harbour Carmen THE F toreador

What is your favourite moment of Carmen and why?

My favourite moment is the last duet. It is an extremely dramatic moment, where we see Carmen’s strength and pride and the transformation of Don Jose. Ultimately he loves Carmen so much and doesn’t want give her up so badly that he can kill her. Musically it is just perfect. We hear the many textures and colours of the singing and Bizet’s music with a focus on harmonisation and the chorus in full voice

Of all the roles you’ve adopted in your career, how do you feel about Don Jose?

I feel very close to Don Jose. Over ten years I have sung the role in 14 productions, all in different places with different directors and every time I discover something new, like in this production in Sydney, which is very grand and dramatic. For me it is a very important opera and I hope to keep singing this role for a very long time.

Handa Opera Sydney Harbour Carmen THE F case pose

What do you think of the large scale production of this performance?

This is amazing project with full of big ideas which work spectacularly for Carmen. A large chorus, plus dancers, extras and singers produce a wonderful whole. When we add scenography and the orchestra with our fantastic conductor, Brian Castles- Onion we see really something unusual, and on such a grand scale! The synchronisation is perfect! It is very important for such a big event.

What is your favourite thing about Opera?

My favourite thing in Opera is…Opera. Only Opera combines music, singing, dance and acting. Opera gives drama, joy and tears at the same time.

Where is your favourite place in Sydney, and why?

I love walk to Sydney Opera House at night and watch all the city and harbour lights. It’s such an electric and unique place. The view is fantastic and I’ll never get bored of it!

Handa Opera Sydney Harbour Carmen THE F fireworks

For tickets and more information on this year’s grand production, see the Opera Australia website here.

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