Sydney Mazda Opera VIP Marquee 29 January 2011 Photos and Story: MiSociety Tweet
It’s been 130 years since she first hit Sydney but Carmen’s still got it!
George Bizet’s opera ’Carmen’, was first performed in Australia some 130 ago but judging by the reaction of the massive crowd attending Opera Australia’s production of this opera classic in Sydney’s Domain, its appeal remains strong across all age ranges. Carmen has interestingly been referred to as the most ‘complete’ of operas with it’s ‘soap opera’ story that is believable enough to be readily taken on board by a modern day audience.
Pre publicity for the production had shone on Israeli born mezzo-soprano (and Facebook devotee) Rinat Shaham who has become one of the world’s most acclaimed ‘Carmens’ since her debut in the role at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2004. There was no hint of any staleness in this role however, as Rinat gave a stunning performance of the ultimately tragic Carmen who loves men instantly and leaves them just as suddenly.
Opera Australia’s production of Carmen, apart from some sound quality problems which were likely caused by an intermittently gusty wind, delivered a polished performance. The cast gave us great drama and passion from the acting scope provided by the love triangle between Carmen and the two men Escamillo and Don Jose (performed superbly by Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Bradley Daley respectively). The atmosphere of Spain was conveyed to the audience with the many ‘hit’ tunes of this opera vibrantly rendered by the Australian Opera Chorus and the Australia Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Mazda Australia, as MiSociety had witnessed in previous years, again detailed their show car in the VIP marquee to harmonize with the Opera being performed on the night. This year’s bright yellow ‘Carmenised’ Mazda grew from beds of red roses in the centre of the Spanish themed area where VIP guests enjoyed exceptionally good Spanish food and wine at the pre and interval functions. We were all joined at the after party by the delightful members of the cast and orchestra who chatted, mingled and relaxed there till past midnight.
Free outdoor concerts are an integral part of the Australian way of life and our population can’t get enough of them. Opera in Sydney’s huge, grassy knolled Domain is traditionally the final concert in the Festival of Sydney annual free concert series. Opera in the Domain gives Sydneysiders the opportunity to witness operatic performances of the highest order in a relaxed and importantly, free environment. Mazda Australia has been the major sponsor for Opera in the Domain for some six years and it’s worth noting that without sponsors like Mazda, free community events of this ilk would not be a possibility.
Ole and well done Opera Australia, their sponsors and patrons. If you missed this one off show but would still like to see this production of Carmen at the Sydney Opera House it’s on until 30 March 2011 visit www.opera-australia.org.au
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