Portland Opera Opens 2022/23 Season With Bizet's CARMEN

Portland Opera will present three performances of Carmen at Keller Auditorium on November 5, 11, and 13 (matinee).

By: Oct. 07, 2022

Portland Opera Opens 2022/23 Season With Bizet's CARMEN

Portland Opera launches their 2022/23 season this November with a cultural touchstone, Bizet's Carmen. Featuring melodic gems such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song, this new-to-Portland production, originated by Denyce Graves in her directorial debut.

Portland Opera will present three performances of Carmen at Keller Auditorium on November 5, 11, and 13 (matinee). Digital access will also be available for a limited time on Portland Opera Onscreen, starting December 1, 2022.

Set in Seville, Spain, Carmen is a factory worker, free spirit, and the toast of the town. She is brave, beautiful, and independent. She falls in and out of love. Then, her obsessed ex violently and tragically rejects her choice to move on. The brilliance of Carmen-her bravery and her spirited heart-continues to inspire and captivate us, nearly 150 years after it was first sung. The full synopsis for Carmen can be found here.

"Portland Opera is excited to present Carmen, an opera that for many people was their first opera, or is their favorite opera," says Damien Geter, Portland Opera's interim Music Director and Artistic Advisor. "The opera abounds with familiar tunes that have crossed into the realm of pop culture. We are so fortunate to be able to bring this timeless classic to Portland under the vision of the one of the world's most beloved Carmens: Denyce Graves."

Graves has brought Carmen to life countless times on the world's great stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro Royal in Madrid, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, and many more. She has been called "an operatic superstar of the 21st century" by USA Today, and made her directorial debut with this co-production, created for Minnesota Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival this past spring. She brings a unique perspective of both the character and story to this bold, gritty, traditional, and new vision of Carmen.

Eric Sean Fogel makes his Portland Opera debut as Stage Director and Choreographer, along with conductor Michael Ellis Ingram, who leads the Portland Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani, a regular on the Metropolitan Opera stage, makes her Portland Opera debut in the title role of Carmen, a role she has previously sung with San Francisco Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Maine. Matthew Pearce, a recent graduate of the Cafritz Young Artist program at Washington National Opera, makes his Portland Opera debut as Don José. The cast also features Richard Ollarsaba as Escamillo, Ariana Wehr as Micaëla, and Darren Lekeith Drone as Zuniga, all in their company debuts, as well Zachary Lenox, last seen on the Portland Opera stage in the 2021 production of Tosca, as Sciarrone.

The four members of the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program will make their debuts in this production: soprano Judy Yannini as Frasquita, mezzo-soprano Cloe SanAntonio as Mercédès, tenor Matthew Cerillo as Remandado, and bass-baritone Keanon Kyles as Moralès.

This critically acclaimed production was co-created by The Glimmerglass Festival and Minnesota Opera. Scenery for this production was constructed by Glimmerglass Festival and is jointly owned by Minnesota Opera and Glimmerglass Festival. Costumes for this production were constructed by Minnesota Opera and are jointly owned by Minnesota Opera and Glimmerglass Festival. Carmen includes adult content: graphic violence and domestic violence, physical intimacy, gun use and simulated gun shots, smoking, and the depiction of murder.

Carmen is made possible with the support of CTA Pathology, The Oregonian/Oregon Live, and Remy Wines. Portland Opera appreciates the ongoing support of our generous donors, The Collins Foundation, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Arts Education & Access Fund, special support from The CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, and The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

Performances take place at 7:30PM at the Keller Auditorium with the exception of the matinee on November 13 which begins at 2:00PM. One hour prior to the performances, audience members are invited to a pre-show lecture. After each performance, audience members are invited to a post-show conversation with company and cast members.

Carmen will be sung in French with projected English captions. The running time will be 3 hours, with one intermission.

Student rush tickets are available for performances of Carmen starting two weeks prior to the performance. Call 503-241-1802 Monday through Friday from 10AM-5PM for more information. In addition, a limited number of free tickets are available through My Discovery Pass, a program created by Multnomah County Library that offers access to local museums and cultural institutions for library card holders. A limited number of $5 tickets for Oregon Trail Card holders are available two weeks prior to each performance, subject to availability. These tickets must be purchased via phone by calling 503-241-1802.

The performance on November 13 at 2pm will include an audio description of the visual and physical events on stage for patrons who are blind or have low vision. For patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing, each performance is visually translated with English text projected above the stage.

Tickets for Carmen are now available. Digital passes to stream this performance on Portland Opera Onscreen will be available for $50. Digital access will be available from December 1 through January 13th.

For more information, and to purchase tickets visit Click Here or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802. Patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at concierge@portlandopera.org, Monday through Friday from 10PM-5PM.


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