Monday, March 12, 2012

CARMEN!

Pop some popcorn! Find a nice comfy chair and enjoy some music and videos.

Finally, life is getting back to normal...and I am so excited for the Conservatory's production of La Tragedie de Carmen this week!  If you think something seems a little out of place, your suspicions are correct - it is different than the famous opera, Carmen.  Peter Brook compiled the music for La Tragedie by taking all of the most famous musical segments from Carmen and splicing them together, making a shorter and more dramatic version of the opera for Broadway.  I can tell you right off that it is very sexy and very violent...it's perfect!

I play Don Jose who is the tenor lead (with an awesome aria - and tons of high notes).  He is an ax murderer who finds his "freedom" by being in the army.  As one may suspect, he slowly grows more and more insane as the piece unfolds, and more and more people are killed in increasingly violent fashion.  This rage stems from his love for Carmen and his jealousy for all the other "loves" of her life including a bull fighter and her Gypsy husband.  And, as all great operas go, I kill her in the end!

For the opera purists out there, keep an open mind, it's not too much different than the original; for the American audience, it is full of quick flowing drama and the beautiful music of Carmen.

For those out there who haven't seen Carmen - I GUARANTEE that you know the music from it...let's see if you find any of these familiar: (in fact if you have never heard these before, I would not believe you...as for #2 if you don't recognize it - just skip to 1:20)







How do I know that you have heard these before?  Well...Carmen is completely saturated in our popular culture.  Some of the first Disney cartoons were about Carmen, and even today many of our commercials and TV shows feature music from it as well...here's a brief showing of how popular Carmen is in our world:









The Habanera, Toreador song, and overture are certainly the most famous excerpts from Carmen, but there are three more tunes that Carmen sings that are EXTREMELY catchy as well!







AND THAT'S NOT ALL!!!!  Don Jose also has one of the most heartbreakingly lovey-dovey pieces ever...take a listen:



I didn't even include the fights, stranglings, and stabbings...it will be a wonderful night at the opera for everyone.  If you are in Kansas City this week, I hope you can come.  I will be singing on Friday and Sunday - it's only 1.5 hours long!

La Tragedie de Carmen
White Recital Hall
Conservatory of Music and Dance
University of Missouri - Kansas City
7:30 PM March 15-17, 2012
2:30 PM March 18, 2012

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Last week, I had another successful performance of a Bach Cantata that featured some ridiculous coloratura - fortunately, it is one of the funnest things that I get to do and it went really well!

Next week, I will be singing the National Anthem at the NAIA National Championship Game and I will be going to Chicago to compete in the District and Regional Finals of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards.  They require us to submit 18 pieces and they choose 10 minutes of music for us to
sing.  It is one of the biggest song competitions in the US, and I am very excited!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY SCHEDULE

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