Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 29, 2019

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera to present ‘Carmen’

Actors clockwise from top left: Gregory Gerbrandt is Escamillo, Elise Quagliata is Carmen, and Richard Troxell is Don Jose in the CSO’s production of “Carmen.” - Photographs provided

Grand opera is returning to Chattanooga with Bizet’s “Carmen” on April 11 and 13, 7:30 p.m., at the Tivoli Theatre. The opera was last performed by the CSO in October 1994.

“Carmen” is set in southern Spain and features a fiery gypsy girl who seduces a straight-laced soldier. When “Carmen” made its debut in 1875, it was met with harsh criticism and negative reviews. With a scandalous heroine and its portrayal of real men and women with raw emotions, Carmen was different from the conventional operas of that day.

Today, Carmen is a worldwide phenomenon and a favorite among opera enthusiasts. “Those of you who have experienced Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ live will understand why we’ve chosen it for our next production,” says Music Director Emeritus and opera conductor Bob Bernhardt. “The music is glorious and sensual, the story is timelessly tragic and it’s a vocal and orchestral tour de force, filled with famous melodies and glorious ensembles.”


In addition to producing “Carmen” this year, the CSO has planned multiple community events to increase the accessibility of opera in Chattanooga.

Bernhardt will host Carmen – Peeking Behind the Curtain on Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at the Chattanooga Public Library’s downtown branch. The lecture will be free and open to the public.

The CSO is also collaborating with the City of Chattanooga to present Carmen: A Preview in the Park. This showcase will feature soloists from the upcoming opera Monday, April 8 at 11:30 a.m. in Miller Park.

Attendees will hear excerpts from the opera during this free afternoon preview event.

The CSO is also working with Hamilton County schools to allow local high school students to attend a full dress rehearsal.

Source: Chattanooga Symphony & Opera