Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/7/2018 (880 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s a joy seeing internationally renowned soprano Melanie Gall (Big in Sudan: The (Mis) Adventures of a Vagabond Musician) doing what she does best — sing opera. In this case, the St. Albert, Alta.-born artist appears as ill-fated gypsy Carmen in her own adaptation of Georges Bizet’s tragic opera based on Prosper Merimee’s original novella.
She shares the stage with U.K.-based storyteller Eden Ballantyne in dual roles as Spanish soldier Don Jose in love/lust with Carmen, and his puffing, preening matador Escamillo, who gamely belts out his Toreador Song. All spoken dialogue during the 55-minute show is performed in English with French vocal numbers.
Gall, who performs triple duty as village girl Michaela and a traveller, nails all her famous arias including the iconic Habanera. It’s fascinating to see this grand opera boiled down to its bare-bones essence — even more than Peter Brook’s version — including minimal sets and only slightly more ambitious costumes. Kudos to this stage chameleon for daring to tackle one of the world’s most beloved operas, with her own passion and talent making this fringe-friendly production sing.
— Holly Harris