The one act production of Carmen retains all of the most famous music of Bizet's four-act version, yet is scaled down so it more closely resembles the original novella by Prosper Merimee. It creates an intense focus on the central characters and conflicts of the piece. The production is darker and more internal without the extra flash of the full scale opera. The adaptation sweeps dramatically to its climax without an intermission, and is approximately an hour and a half in length.
Poulnec's surrealist Les Mamelles de Tiresias is presented in its original two-act form. It is a French comic opera about war, women's rights, marriage and, fidelity. Terese tires of her life as a submissive woman and tries to conquer the world as General Tiresias and her husband finds a way to bear children without women.
This new production directed by Jacque Trussel includes the Purchase Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hugh Murphy with set and costume designs by members of the Purchase Design and Technology program. The opera will be presented in French with English subtitles.
Tickets for the two-one act operas are $22.50. Box Office 914-251-6200 or www.artscenter.org.
Director Jacque Trussel is Chair of Opera Performance and Vocal Studies at the Purchase School of the Arts Conservatory of Music. He is an internationally renowned tenor who has performed over 80 leading roles with more than 50 opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and LÃ¢ Opera Bastille in Paris, among others. His Grammy nominated solo CD Sounds and Sweet Airs, was released to great reviews. He was named Stage Director of the year by Classical Singer magazine for 2005 and led the Purchase Opera to several national awards for Best Production.
Hugh Murphy has been Conductor and Music Director of the Purchase Opera since 1999. Productions under his baton have won first place in the national Opera Association's Opera Productions Competition for several years and have been favorably reviewed in Opera News magazine.
He prepares professional singers for their performances with major orchestras and opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden and others. A Professor of Music at Purchase College, he coaches voice students and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in German and French Art Song, Operatic Literature and Styles.
This year the Purchase Opera received its sixth annual award from the National Opera Association for its annual opera production. It also received first prize for its world premiere production of Confession.
This original opera won in the National Opera Association's Chamber Opera Composition Competition. The opera was composed by Classical Composition student Raphael Lucas to a libretto by Jacque Trussel and Margaret Vignola. This was everyone's attempt at writing an original opera. Confession will be recorded by Albany Records this spring.