New Opera Company Premieres On Cape Cod With THE TRAGEDY OF CARMEN
In two debut performances, Opera Theater of Cape Cod (OTCC) premieres with The Tragedy of Carmen on Friday, September 7, 7:30 pm, Wellfleet Preservation Hall, 335 Main St., Wellfleet, and Sunday, September 9, 2 pm at Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Rd., Cotuit. The chamber opera is Peter Brook's adaptation of Bizet's beloved opera, Carmen. Brook's distillation of the opera focuses on the drama between the principal characters while preserving all of its famous arias and duets. These performances are a new English translation by Joseph Turbessi. The concerts are conducted by Music Director Joseph Turbessi, with stage direction by Ethan DePuy.
"Our team is thrilled to be bringing opera back to where it belongs - right here on Cape Cod. We've assembled an all-star cast of performers recognized for their excellent singing and dramatic risk-taking. I don't think the community will know what hit them," shared Ethan DePuy, Co-Artistic Director of Opera Theater of Cape Cod.
OTCC's The Tragedy of Carmen is a modern spin on the renowned tale of seduction, obsession, and tragedy. The opera explores the intense romance between Carmen, a powerful woman who has risen through the ranks in the criminal underworld, and Don José, a soldier who leaves his military post and hometown sweetheart, Micaela, to be with Carmen. Don José's passion for the intoxicating Carmen turns to violence when she falls for the handsome bullfighter, Escamillo. The conclusion of Brook's adaptation focuses on Carmen's choice to be true to herself in accepting her fate. Contains adult themes, recommended for mature audiences.
Mezzo-soprano Eileen Christiansen is known for her "rich and resonant" voice as well as her passionate performances in classical concerts, musical theater, and opera productions throughout the New England area, from Falmouth to Worcester. Christiansen is the Director of Production for the Opera Theater of Cape Cod and one of its founding members.
Award-winning tenor Fran Rogers is critically acclaimed for his "open, free, and effortless high notes", "athleticism", and "raw strength and natural timbre". Rogers frequently sings the national anthem for the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, and the Boston Celtics. He has performed on multiple occasions for live audiences of up to 70,000 and international audiences of up to 14 million.
Soprano Kathryn McKellar, commended by The Boston Globe for her "elegant singing" and "polish", performs regularly with Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Odyssey Opera, and is the founder and co-director of Opera on Tap in Boston.
Baritone Andrew Miller, known for his "warm robust baritone" and "fine comic sensibilities", is a member of the Boston Opera Collaborative and has performed with with Boston Midsummer Opera, Odyssey Opera, and NEMPAC Boston. Miller recently performed as a soloist in Beethoven's 9th symphony with New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra.
"We're thrilled to be starting an opera company in one of the most beautiful parts of Massachusetts. This part of the country, that is so renowned for the arts, deserves to have its own opera company," said Joseph Turbessi, Co-Artistic Director and one of OTCC's three founding members.
OTCC's founders Turbessi, DePuy and Christiansen collectively fuel a wide range of artistic and administrative experience. Turbessi is a versatile musician in the greater Boston area, maintaining a career as an opera conductor, a vocal coach, a collaborative pianist and organist. He also serves as music director for Old South Union Church in Weymouth. DePuy brings a unique dramatic style to his work in pieces ranging from the Baroque period to today. DePuy is a highly sought-after tenor soloist for operas and concerts in the New England area and beyond, as well as providing stage direction for OTCC's inaugural production. Besides performing regularly as a soloist in New England, Eileen Christiansen is an active administrator and board member for several New England artistic non-profits, and leads a thriving voice studio in Melrose.
"We're looking forward to telling the timeless story of Bizet's Carmen in a fresh, intimate and modern way. This will be the first opera hosted by Wellfleet Preservation Hall. We hope that the community will enjoy this gem of a production on the mainstage at Cotuit Center for the Arts as well," said Eileen Christiansen, Director of Production for the company.
As a new chamber opera company dedicated to bringing high quality and accessible opera performances to the Cape Cod community, OTCC's vision is to enrich Cape Cod's vital art scene with exquisite singing and storytelling. The company's founding members are on a mission to ignite the Cape community's passion for opera, from longtime opera lovers to audience members new to the art form.
Tickets to The Tragedy of Carmen performances are $20, available at wellfleetpreservationhall.org (Wellfleet) and artsonthecape.org (Cotuit). The performances are approximately 90 minutes in length, and a reception will be held immediately following the Cotuit concert.