Houston Grand Opera (HGO) will celebrate its return to live performance at the Wortham Theater Center with audience favorite Carmen.
A tragedy of obsessive love, Bizet’s Carmen from 1875 is considered the most popular opera in the world today. It is impossible not to smile with recognition when the well-known first notes of the prelude ring out from the orchestra. Mezzo-soprano and HGO Studio alumna Carolyn Sproule takes on the role of Carmen, the famous bohemian whose beauty, confidence, and provocative lifestyle captivate the soldier Don José, sung by incredible tenor Richard Trey Smagur, although his jealousy will ultimately destroy them both. Bass-baritone Christian Pursell in his HGO debut as the bullfighter Escamillo and Houston favorite and HGO Studio alumna soprano Heidi Stober as Micaela are ensnared by the passion of the two lead characters.
Expect striking costumes and gorgeous dancing in director/choreographer Rob Ashford’s acclaimed production, conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya in her HGO debut. The opera runs two hours and 53 minutes with one intermission. It is sung in French with projected English translation.
Following the performance, festivities continue on Ray C. Fish Plaza. The traditional Opening Night Dinner will usher in the next era of HGO by welcoming HGO’s new General Director Khori Dastoor with dinner among artists and friends.