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Highlights from Bizet’s beloved opera!
Hector Guzman conductor
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo mezzo-soprano
Judith Rodriguez soprano
Derek Taylor tenor
David Small baritone

Perhaps one of, if not the most popular opera currently before the public today, Bizet’s Carmen was anything but an initial hit with audiences and critics. The realism of the story scandalized audiences. Bizet died after initial performances and never knew the great success of his opera.

Carmen has become one of the most beloved and frequently performed operas. The Habanera from Act 1 and the Toreador Song from Act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias. The opera is set in southern Spain. The story is about the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills Carmen in a jealous rage.

This performance features highlights from the beloved opera, including the “Habanera” from Act 1 and the “Toreador Song” from Act 2, which are among the best known of all operatic arias.

Mezzo-soprano Leann Sandel-Pantaleo brings her acclaimed role as Carmen. She has sung in numerous opera houses, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Berlin Staatsoper, the San Francisco Opera and the Met. Soprano Judith Rodriguez sings the role of Michaela. The native Texan has performed roles in The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and many others. Derek Taylor, tenor, takes the role of Don Jose, having won acclaim for title roles in Turandot, Tosca, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme and many more.  Baritone David Small, with over 50 opera roles to his credit, including a great success as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, sings Escamillo.