Stage Director

Bizet’s Carmen – Opera Africa – SA Jewish Report

Opera Africa stages a stupendous Carmen

Opera Africa’s current staging of Carmen is stupendous. There’s a real and continuous synergy on a mission between those extremely diverse elements, which make up what we call opera. It’s quite unlike any production we’ve seen in the past locally, on film or on DVD. This one is strongly character-driven without ever underestimating the often predominant influence of the crowd scenes on the tragic story as a whole. The way in which the characters become instrumental in the outcome of this tragedy is handled with incisive insight and detail through James Marvel’s stage direction. Marvel wanted to break with the preceding extreme realism with a tasteful pinpointing of the “opera comique” elements to create a jerking finale in which he confronts us with a verisimilitude of happenings reflecting extreme obsessions. This is the one Carmen you’ll just have to experience.

Paul Boekkooi, SA Jewish Report

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