Carmen the Opera
July 17 - July 30
Carmen presented by the Cincinnati Opera
The Cincinnati Opera Summer Festival continues with the most popular opera of all time, Georges Bizet’s Carmen. Opera’s quintessential femme fatale, Carmen shows us she’s that and so much more—a fearless, flirtatious force of nature who refuses to answer to anyone but herself.
Her confidence attracts the attention of Don José, whose passion turns to obsession, then spirals into madness. When José threatens Carmen with death should she refuse him, she chooses freedom over all. Featuring some of opera’s best-known melodies, from the sultry “Habanera” to the rousing “Toreador Song,” Carmen is an ageless ode to one woman’s fierce independence.
Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, a “rising star” (Los Angeles Times) known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times), makes her Cincinnati Opera debut as Carmen. Cincinnati Opera favorite tenor Stephen Costello, “a prodigiously gifted singer” (Associated Press), appears as Don José.
Soprano Janai Brugger, who appeared most recently with Cincinnati Opera as Clara in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2019) and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro (2019), brings her “opulent soprano voice” (Los Angeles Times) to the role of Micaëla. Bass-baritone Christian Pursell offers “power, precision, and congeniality” (Houston Chronicle) as the swaggering bullfighter Escamillo.
Conductor Ramón Tebar, current music director of the Orquestra de Valencia (Spain) and artistic director of Opera Naples, leads the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and stage direction is by Omer Ben Seadia, recently hailed for her “imaginatively staged” (Cincinnati Business Courier) production of Cincinnati Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos (2019).
Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
Sung in French with projected translation
When & Where:
Saturday, July 17, 2021 | 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 8:30 p.m.
Monday, July 26, 2021 | 8:30 p.m.
Friday, July 30, 2021 | 8:30 p.m.
Carmen: J’Nai Bridges
Don José: Stephen Costello
Micaëla: Janai Brugger
Escamillo: Christian Pursell
Zuniga: Burak Bilgili
El Remendado: Victor Ryan Robertson
El Dancaïro: Thomas Dreeze
Conductor: Ramón Tebar
Stage director: Omer Ben Seadia
Lighting designer: Thomas C. Hase
Costume director: Rebecca Senske
Wig & makeup designer: James Geier
Sound designer: Jonathan Burke
Chorus master: Henri Venanzi
Featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera Chorus
About Summit Park
Summit Park, located in the center of Blue Ash, is a beautiful, 130-acre world-class park that provides exciting, year-round events, activities, and unique learning opportunities. Experience a breathtaking 360-degree view of the tristate in the free Observation Tower, explore the Naturescape playground, discover trails, catch a fish in the pond, take your furry friend to the dog park, and dine in one of four outstanding on-site restaurants.
To learn more, visit summitparkblueash.com.
About Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences. Founded in 1920 and the second-oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every summer and engaging programs throughout the year. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative artists.
To learn more, visit cincinnatiopera.org.