Opera in Williamsburg returns with "Carmen"

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

Opera in Williamsburg returns to the Kimball Theatre stage for its latest season with a retelling of “Carmen” April 20-24. It marks the local opera company’s first production of Georges Bizet’s classic libretto.

Naama Zahavi-Ely, the opera’s founder and artistic director, said “Carmen” continues her emphasis on operatic works with mainstream appeal, calling it a “timeless story” about people and the relationships between them.

“Carmen” relays the story of a gypsy factory worker in the custody of Don Jose, a soldier who comes to neglect his duties as his affection for her grows.

“You have a woman who is very free with what she does,” Zahavi-Ely said. “But she also takes for granted that it’s entirely her right to choose to give her love when she wants to and take it away when she wants to.”

Actors Lisa Chavez and Eric Fennell portray lead characters Carmen and Don Jose. The production also sees the opera company coordinating with the largest orchestra since its inception.

“It requires a few more resources than things we’ve done in the past,” Zahavi-Ely said. “Every additional instrument, every additional person is more money. But that’s called for.”

Want to go?

Opera in Williamsburg hosts a preview dinner concert and silent auction April 15 at the Colonial Heritage Clubhouse, 6500 Arthur Hills Drive. Tickets are $52 for dinner options or $25 for the concert only.

“Carmen” runs April 20-24 at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are $48, $43 for seniors, military, first responders, teachers and college staff or $15 for students. For tickets and more information, visit operainwilliamsburg.org.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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