The renowned French opera ‘Carmen’ will be staged in its integral and original version for the first time in Vietnam with two shows in Ho Chi Minh City next month
The opera will be brought to the city stage by the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, the French Institute in Vietnam, and Lys Events, the organizers said at a press conference at the Residence of France on Thursday.
According to the organizers, it is the first time the integral and original version of ‘Carmen’ will be played in Vietnam in its opera version.
The opera will be played by soloists from Vietnam, France, Thailand, and South Korea, featuring the French National Orchestra and starring Vietnamese mezzo-soprano Thanh Huyen as Carmen and French tenor Patrick Garayt as Don José.
Huyen and French-Vietnamese violin soloist Nguyen Huu Nguyen have cherished the idea of a musical cooperation project between France and Vietnam for a long time and when the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music and Lys Events approached them last year with the idea of playing Bizet’s internationally acclaimed masterpiece ‘Carmen’ in the city, their enthusiasm found an echo.
Speaking at the press conference, ‘Vietnamese Carmen’ Huyen said she has thoroughly studied the original opera by Georges Bizet and watched a lot of videos capturing other artists playing the character Carmen to prepare for her role.
Calling Carmen her dream role, mezzo-soprano Huyen told Tuoi Tre News that she has prepared herself for the role with six years of study at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music.
She added that though the role has been a big pressure with difficult and intense daily practices, it has brought her an exciting challenge.
The artists perform an excerpt from the opera 'Carmen' at the press conference.
Huyen added all the international artists have practiced the opera separately during the last year and only began practicing together just one month before the show.
The orchestra will be conducted by Carlos Dourthé, musical director of the Choir and Orchestra of Paris’ Universities, together with soloists.
Brian Riedlinger, who has led the International Choir and Orchestra of Ho Chi Minh City since 2006, is the show’s stage director.
According to the organizers, the passion displayed by Carmen and her courage are echoing the fate of strong women from every part of the world and, since women are the core of the Vietnamese society and family, it could not find a better fit than a Vietnamese audience.
‘Carmen’ is a story of love, jealousy, and freedom, centered on a steadfast and fiery woman who uses her charm to seduce Don José, a soldier garrisoned in Seville (Spain) and already engaged to Micaëla.
When accused of provoking a fight in the tobacco factory where she works, Carmen is to be arrested by Don José himself; however, the soldier, who has already fallen in love, let the beautiful Carmen flee and bitterly regrets it.
‘Carmen’ will be played at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House at Lam Son Square in District 1 at 8:00 pm on July 1 and 2.
It will be staged bilingually with the singing part in French and dialogue in English.
Vietnamese and English subtitles will also be screened during the opera.
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