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Unique Take On Classic French Opera

9 August 2012

Unique Take On Classic French Opera

University of Waikato music students are set to bring to life vocal fireworks and passionate music from the classic French opera Carmen next week, in an exciting concert version of the work.

Music from the iconic four-act opera will be performed in concert format, featuring a mixture of solo singing performances, a full orchestra and choir, and bridging narration by our very own Dame Malvina Major.

“Carmen was probably the most popular opera of the 19th century, and at the University of Waikato we are very lucky to have four voices capable of singing the roles of Carmen, Don José, Escamillo, and Micaela,” says Dame Malvina.

This opera tells the tragic story of the downfall of naïve soldier, Don José, who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen and was composed by Frenchman Georges Bizet and first performed in Paris in 1875.

Carmen will be sung by Doctor of Musical Arts student and Hillary Scholar June Dams and Don José will be performed by Hillary Scholar and honours student Chase Douglas.

Musical director and Senior Lecturer James Tennant says that audiences will be treated to a unique showcase of the diverse musical talent of the students in the University’s music programme.

The annual student music production will be conducted by a student, with promising up and coming maestro Adam Maha taking the baton.

Carmen is the annual opera piece performed by University of Waikato music students and will be held on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 August at the Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber, at the Gallagher Academy of Preforming Arts. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students and children and can be purchased from or from the Academy box office.


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