Stacey Alleaume Opera Australia Carmen Micaela

Stacey Alleaume as Micaela in Carmen by Opera Australia really shines

In a tale as old as time lies a lot of darkness. But there are almost none quite as dark as that of Carmen by composer Georges Bizet, which is on at the Sydney Opera House at the moment, by Opera Australia.

Telling the tale of a fiery bohemian gypsy woman who finds herself caught in a love tryst that is eventually her undoing, Carmen reflects so many elements of contemporary love and love long since past, it’s astounding.

But at the heart of it lies a powerful message in the darkness, depicted by a little ray of sunshine; the character of Micaela, played by Melburnian soprano Stacey Alleaume.

MORE: Here’s what a day in the life of Stacey Alleaume is like

After the singer’s standing ovation after a roaringly successful opening night of Carmen in Sydney, she took the time to dissect one of the world’s most beloved librettos and take a look into the character of Micaela and what it means.

“When I perform Micaëla I feel like I am bringing a ray of light and goodness into a dark story,” she said. “Micaëla is the polar opposite to Carmen, but it is that contrast which makes the two characters interesting.”

Micaela’s character is sweet, innocent and unadulterated, though very meek and almost childlike. Within that, though, in contrast to the strength and seductiveness of Carmen herself, lies a lot of cause of contention between the two characters, which as Stacey says, is one of the best parts.

“I know people who dislike her but there are many traits to Carmen’s personality, which I like; she is a strong, independent woman with confidence and assertiveness. Without her rebellious, free-spirited nature there wouldn’t be any drama, and what’s a story without that?!” she said.

It’s the conveying of those contrasts in personality that draws Stacey significantly to her role in the production, on at the Sydney Opera House until 23 March 2018.

She has a lot of challenges to overcome as the character, which as Stacey says, is one of the most challenging elements; getting to channel all those emotions.

“I want to feel connected to a character and make the deliverance of their emotions genuine and real. The way I channel their emotions is by putting myself in their shoes and understanding why they are feeling a certain way. Sometimes I draw on my own life experiences to add depth and truth to a character,” she said.

And the thing is, it has tended to not change from the rest of her tenure with Opera Australia since joining the Moffat Oxenbould Young Artist Programme in 2016.

Stacey is soon to take-on the role of Violetta Valery in La Traviata after a successful run in the smash hit The Merry Widow, which only recently wound-up. 

“I am beyond excited [to play the role of Violetta]! For me, Violetta is a dream role and one of my favourites. I think La Traviata is a masterpiece and Violetta’s story is heartbreaking,” she said.

Before the big day, Stacey says it’s like an athlete preparing for a marathon, so limits herself to rehearsals, vocal rest, a good diet, staying hydrated and sleep, because there are so many things to love about La Traviata, she’d hate to let them down.

“There are so many things to love about the libretto, it is hard to choose just one! I love how the libretto is a powerful story, full of love and sacrifice, and the moments of disgrace and vulnerability are so exposed.

“A line of text, which I always find heartbreaking, is when Violetta consents to Germont’s request to leave Alfredo because their union would destroy his family:

“Let him know the sacrifice that I made is out of love and that even my last sigh will be his.””

See Stacey shine in these performances by Opera Australia throughout the 2018 season.

Stacey Alleaume Opera Australia Carmen Micaela Don Jose

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