Magazine article Opera Canada

Manitoba Opera. (Canada: Winnipeg)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Manitoba Opera. (Canada: Winnipeg)

Article excerpt

Manitoba Opera's Carmen in Winnipeg was a modernist affair with a contemporary persuasion. The look was minimal, and every element a symbol. Costumes, which came with the set from Minnesota Opera, placed the story in Franco's Fascist Spain, puffing the free-loving gypsy girl in a tight situation from the start. Disagree as one might with director James McNamara's interpretation, the principals of this cast performed with remarkable panache.

In the title role, Buffy Baggott proved to be a wonderfully engaging example of a new generation of opera singers for whom the ability to act well is not just a career-enhancing accessory to a great voice but all of a piece with the art of opera. Her Carmen metaphorically smoked, wearing a bright yellow dress and bare feet on an orange stage. There was a punk swagger in the way she walked, jazz in the way she talked, and in the nuance of her melody, there was a lot of jab and tickle.

Louise Marcotte's Micaela was so attractive, and her singing so sweet and pure, that to reject her, Jeffrey Springer's Don Jose had to be a truly abnormal male. …

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