Opera in Highland Park: Carmen presented by Pacific Opera Project

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 Highland Park Ebell Club, 131 S. Avenue 57 Los Angeles, CA 90042  See map

Pacific Opera Project’s Carmen

Pacific Opera Project’s March 2014 production of Bizet’s Carmen continues in the POP tradition, by offering brilliantly original staging, a plethora of exceptionally talented singers and musicians, and clever, innovative twists and turns offering love, sex, violence, knives, guns, gypsies, soldiers, bullfights, knife fights, and girl fights--all with the most recognizable music in the world.  What's not to like?  Sung in French, but set in Spain, audiences will be swept away by this passionate, colorful and sometimes scandalous production.

A story of seduction and betrayal, jealousy and revenge, duty and downfall, Carmen follows the tumultuous story of the alluring Gypsy Carmen and her, at first reluctant, seemingly innocent soldier from the country, Don José.   Initially enamored with the lovely Micaela, Don José is beguiled and swept away by the seductive Carmen.  When Carmen loses interest in Don José and is ultimately wild about a new suitor, the toreador Escamillo, the triangle leads to exceptional drama, comedy, mystique and of course magnificent music.

POP’s mission is to provide energetic, high-quality, accessible performances of a broad variety of operatic repertoire at various venues throughout Southern California. Co-founders Josh Shaw (stage direction and production design) and Stephen Karr (music director and conductor) team up for the company’s tenth production since its inception in the summer of 2011. Shaw has appeared as a singer throughout Southern California, and as a director has recently worked with Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles, New Fangled Opera, Opera Neo, Redlands Opera Theater and the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Karr has conducted all of POP’s productions, and has also worked with Des Moines Metro Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera New Jersey and Palm Beach Opera, in addition to his work for Opera UCLA. 

This season’s production of Carmen, will take place in the Highland Park Ebell Club, built in 1913. This LA historic landmark building is a hidden gem; the beautiful craftsman building is a magnificent setting, with fabulous acoustics, for the intimate and dynamic Pacific Opera Project productions. Small café tables, with wine and succulent taste treats, accompany a classical opera set in a cabaret-like venue.

A celebrated cast with credits from Opera San José, LA Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Chelsea Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Gothic Chamber Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara sing feet from your table or seat. Mezzo-Soprano Nora Graham-Smith sings the title role.  New York based tenor Adam Cromer sings Don José.  Micaela is Los Angeles based soprano Aubrey Scarr. Nigerian-American Baritone Babatunde Akinboboye portrays Escamillo.  Rounding out the talented cast are Nicole Fernandes (Frasquita), Meagan Martin (Mercedes), Robert Norman (El Remendado), Michael Bannett (Dancairo), Nick Lagesse (Zuniga), and Matthew Ian Welch (Morales).   A chorus of 15 singers and dancers rounds out the cast.

Who: Pacific Opera Project: Los Angeles’s most accessible opera company is committed to fully professional productions of worthy masterpieces and daring new works of opera and musical theater produced with artists of the highest caliber in diverse venues. 

What:      Carmen by Georges Bizet

When:      Friday

March 7 and 14 - 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8 and 15 - 8 p.m. Thursday:  March 13 - 8 p.m.

Where:     Highland Park Ebell Club 131 S. Avenue 57, Los Angeles, CA 90042

     $20 General Admission, Table for 2, $60.  Table for 4, $100.

 Tables including a bottle of wine and plate of appetizers 

Contact:   Josh Shaw, Artistic Director; 323.739.6122, ad@pacificoperaproject.com 

Stephen Karr, Music Director; 310.945.8482, md@pacificoperaproject.com

For further information please visit www.paciicoperaproject.com, or write to info@pacificoperaproject.com.          

Pacific Opera Project is dedicated to presenting energetic, high-quality, accessible performances of a broad variety of operatic repertoire; to benefiting the larger artistic community of Southern California by providing a fully professional environment for our artists; and to cultivating and enriching a wide audience in venues both conventional and unconventional throughout the region with innovative performances that enliven and preserve the art form.


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