What's Opera, Doc?
My pal Mark Hayes sends along this plug for the upcoming production of "Carmen" in Charleston (though he has an ulterior motive, which you'll discover in the last sentence). He writes:
Glad to see you mentioned the upcoming performance of "Carmen", brought to you one night only (May 19 at 8:00 pm) by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
The classic opera will be performed at the Clay Center for the Performing Arts in Charleston, and tickets are available at www.theclaycenter.org, www.wvsymphony.org, or by calling (304) 561-3570.
This production includes dozens of the finest singers in the Charleston area, and stars nationally-known soprano Christina Nassif (website: www.cristinanassif.com) in the title role. Nassif has performed to stellar reviews with the Virginia Opera, Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, among others, and has appeared several times in concert on the Carnegie Hall stage.
Her website's biography lists these accolades: The Washington Post's Mark Estren noted, "Nassif's voice has range and power, and the positions from which she can project it are amazing - stretching, sitting, even lying down." The Washington Times' T.L. Ponick remarked, "Add this impressive performance to her heartbreaking portrayal of Violetta in last season's Virginia Opera production of La Traviata, and one begins to wonder why the Met has not been knocking at her door."
Only one performance! For anyone that loves opera, or simply loves impressive performances and symphonic music, this should be a 'must see.' Besides, anyone who has listened to classical music (or watched cartoons) in their lives will recognize many of the songs featured in "Carmen." Here's a sample:
Maria Callas signs "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" ("Habanera"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BysvxpzzxtM
Franco Pomponi signs "Votre toast" ("Toreador Song"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DATrSyQADG8
Agnes Baltsa and Jose Carreras sing "C'est toi! C'est moi!" ("Duet and Finale"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pZMQUf4TEY
And for the cartoon lovers, here's Tom & Jerry in "Carmen Get It!": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSmAJk1UrO4
And, yes, I'm in it - however, I have a non-singing role (unidentified soldier) so unless I accidentally trip Carmen I don't think I'll affect the show one way or the other!