‘Carmen’ returns to the Union Avenue Opera

Carmen is back at the Union Avenue Opera. This audience favorite will open the opera’s 30th anniversary season with four performances on July 5, 6, 12, and 13.

Carmen by Georges Bizet follows the soldier Don José as he falls for the fiery Carmen and leaves his life behind. It’s a story of love, betrayal, and jealousy that features iconic songs such as “Habanera” and “Toreador Song”. 

The production will be sung in French with projected English subtitles. Union Avenue Opera’s last production of Carmen was in 2008.

“I think Carmen is a great first opera, if people have never been,” stage director Mark Freiman says. “Opera lovers love this opera, but if they know somebody who has never been, this is a great one to take them to.”

Elise Quagliata will return to the Union Avenue Opera in the title role as Carmen after performing at opera houses around the U.S. This is a special performance for her.  Quagliata’s daughter, Lila Treuiller, will join her on stage as part of the youth ensemble.

“She’s a real opera kid,” Quagliata said in a press release. “She’s seen me perform Carmen many times, but this is our first opportunity to be on stage together. It’s been so much fun having her on stage with me and hearing her beautiful voice.”

Brendan Tuohy will play the leading man, Don José in his Union Avenue Opera stage debut. He, like Quagliata, has performed in Carmen elsewhere.

“What’s been really fun is that Elise and Brendan have connected right from the beginning, come up with a lot of their own ideas, and we’ve incorporated those into the show,” Freiman says. “I think the chemistry they have is very real and very exciting. It comes across.”

Carmen is the first of three productions at Union Avenue Opera this season. The Italian tragedy Aida will come to the stage for three performances on July 26 and 28 and August 3, and Stephen Sondheim’s dark fairy tale Into the Woods will show on August 16, 17, 23, and 24.

“The great thing about Union Avenue is that it’s really intimate,” Freiman says. “You can see expressions and connect with the artists in a different way.”

For tickets or more information, go to unionavenueopera.org.

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