Magazine article Opera Canada

Carmen: Donna Brown (Micaela) and Steven Pitkanen (Morales) with the Chorus in the Opera Lyra Ottawa Production. (Opera in Review: Ottawa)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Carmen: Donna Brown (Micaela) and Steven Pitkanen (Morales) with the Chorus in the Opera Lyra Ottawa Production. (Opera in Review: Ottawa)

Article excerpt

Opera Lyra Ottawa opened its new season with Bizet's Carmen, the company's first sold-out run.

The appreciative audience was treated to a solid performance by the young American Angela Horn, who performed with assurance and intelligence. Her full and richly colored mezzo lent a suitable sultriness to the role, but she could have used more passion and fire to help propel the production forward. This wasn't helped by the stage director, Renaud Doucet, whose stylized dance sequences bordered on slow motion. Doucet, a former dancer who has worked with Opera de Montreal was making his OLO debut.

The other female singers were also excellent. Ottawa's Donna Brown (Micaela), also making her OLO debut, was well focused and totally believable, singing with exquisite phrasing and pliant grace. Michelle Sutton (Mercedes) and Isabelle Bacroix (Frasquita) were in clear, ringing voice.

American tenor Randolph Locke replaced Massimiliano Drapello as Don Jose during the performance I attended, and despite little rehearsal time, managed to adapt with conviction--maybe too much, as he reduced the final scene with Carmen to writhing melodrama liberally spiced with his throbbing Italianate sound. …

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