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Lyrical Opera Theater's Carmen, 2017

A steamy story of seduction, jealousy and maniacal murder.

Carmen

Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 W. Center St. (7720 S.), Midvale, UT

Watch now: CARMEN | Lyrical Opera Theater | 2017

Carmen

Characters:

Carmen, a gypsy:Demaree Clayson Brown mezzo-soprano
Don José, a corporal:Antonio Miguellangelo Antonio Miguellangelo, Full Lyric Tenortenor
Escamillo, a toreador:Daniel Tuutau baritone
Micaëla, a village girl: Clara Hurtado Lee & Lynnette Owens soprano
Ballet Dancer:Abriel Rotzler (dancer and choreographer) ballet dancer
Zuniga, a lieutenant:William Goeglein bass
Moralès, a corporal:Joshua Jensen baritone
Frasquita, a gypsy:Aleena Pedersen soprano
Mercédès, a gypsy:Holly Anderson mezzo-soprano
Lillas Pastia, an inn-keeper:Spencer Thurmanspoken part
Le Remendado, a smuggler:Jesse Toftumtenor
Le Dancaïre, a smuggler:Ray Arbizu Jr. Ray Arbizu Jr.tenor
Le Guide, a guide:Jerry Chen Lispoken part
Soldiers:Jerry Chen Li, Spencer Thurman Spencer Thurman & Jesse Toftummale chorus
Villagers:Alyssa Powers, Deborah Siddoway , Sonja Jensen , Sue Sohm , Serena Mackerell, Grace Clements & Felicia Lundie female chorus
Children:Jamie Forchic , Yanyan Chen Li , Esther Clements , Emma Clements Tahlia Schindler & Angelina Persinger children's chorus
Stage-hand:Caylee Caldwell stage hand

Synopsis:

Act 1: Set in Seville, Spain, around 1820. Soldiers stand guard in the town square outside of a cigarette factory. Micaëla, a young woman, comes inquiring about the soldier, Don José and is told that he'll soon arrive for the next shift. She leaves. José's platoon arrives, and he's told of the young woman's inquiry. He identifies her as the woman he loves. Women emerge from the factory on a work break. Carmen, a provocative gypsy, spots José, the only soldier who is ignoring her and determines to seduce him. She sings the famous aria, Habanera, throws a flower at his feet and reenters the factory with the other women. Micaëla returns and shows José his mother's letter wishing him to marry her which he resolves to do. A fight breaks out in the factory for which Carmen is blamed. She is arrested and tied up but persuades José to let her escape and runs away. He is arrested for allowing her to and imprisoned.

Act 2: A month later in a tavern, Carmen and her friends are entertained by the bullfighter, Escamillo, who boastfully tells them of the life of a toreador. He offers love to Carmen but she refuses because her heart is set on José who has just been released from prison. Smugglers enter and plot their next operation urging Carmen to recruit José to their criminal purpose. They leave and José arrives. He professes his love for her showing her the dried up flower he had kept next to his heart since she had thrown it at him in the square. Carmen is unconvinced and requires him to prove it by deserting the army to stay with her. They are interrupted by José's commanding officer, Zuniga, who orders him back to the barracks. A fight ensues between José and Zuniga which leaves José with no alternative but to join Carmen and the smugglers.

Act 3: José is encamped with the smugglers in the mountains. He gases longingly at the valley where his mother lives. Carmen jeers at him saying he is not cut out for a smuggler's life and tells him to go home. The gypsy women lay out fortune cards that seem to foretell Carmen's death then leave to go distract the customs guards so the smuggling operation can go unnoticed. José is left guarding the camp. Micaëla has courageously made her way to the encampment having come to save José. Escamillo also appears saying he has come to join his lover, Carmen. In a jealous rage, José pulls out his knife and the two fight. The smugglers return, stop the fight and find Micaëla hiding. She tells José that his mother is dying. He agrees to go home but warns Carmen that they will meet again.

Act 4: The following month, at the square in front of the bullfight arena, Escamillo who is now Carmen's lover, is welcomed by spectators. Escamillo enters the arena but Carmen remains behind in the square. José appears and implores Carmen to make a new life with him. She refuses him saying she will remain free at all cost and throwing away the ring that he once gave her. A cheer is heard from the arena as Escamillo slays the bull. Unable to control his rage, José stabs her to death with a dagger.

About:

Carmen, the most famous of Bizet's operas, with its exotic Spanish setting, introduced a note of realism into opera that proved unacceptable to many who saw the first performances. Objection was taken to the wild and immoral behavior of Carmen, the chorus of cigarette factory-girls and their smoking and the final murder of Carmen on the stage. Orchestral suites have been derived from the score, while popular excerpts must include Carmen's seductive Habanera and Séguidilla, the famous Toreador's Song and Don José's later reference to the flower Carmen had once thrown him, La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (The flower that you threw me), with Micaëla's moving aria Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante (I say that nothing frightens me).

Watch now: CONTACT | Lyrical Opera Theater with Mary Dixon | PBS - KUED 7

Detailed Singer Info:

Demaree Clayson Brown, Full Lyric Mezzo-soprano

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Carmen in Carmen

Demaree Clayson Brown, a mezzo-soprano from San Angelo, Texas, holds degrees from Brigham Young University (BM), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (MM), and the University of Utah (DMA). While at the University of Utah, she studied with Professor Ariel Bybee and Dr. Robert Breault, and her research focused on art song from Spain and Latin America. Recently, Dr. Brown made her debut with Utah Lyric Opera in Provo, performing the role of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Her voice was described as exuding a "warmth and richness" that allowed her to "portray her character vividly just through her singing." Her concert and oratorio work include being the alto soloist for Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, and John Rutter's Feel the Spirit. Her most recent opera roles include: Mercedes in Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mrs. McLean in Susannah, Angelina La Cenerentola, Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking, Marie in The Most Happy Fella, and La Principessa in Suor Angelica. In addition to performing, Dr. Brown taught high school and middle school choir in Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, and New Mexico. She and her husband, Marco, currently reside in Salt Lake City and are the proud parents of their son, Elliot.

Antonio Miguellangelo, Full Lyric Tenor

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Don José in Carmen

Antonio Miguellangelo was born in Brazil and immigrated to the United States in 1992. He started his career in music in 1999 and has performed for many audiences in Utah, California, Florida and New York. Antonio is making his debut in a full opera production with the Lyrical Opera Theater by performing the role of Don José in Carmen by Bizet.





Daniel Tuutau, Baritone

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Escamillo in Carmen

Daniel Tuutau, Baritone, is originally from Los Angeles, California. He holds BA and MM degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is completing studies at the University of Utah pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance. His most recent roles with the University of Utah's Lyric Opera Ensemble include Don Magnifico in Rossini's La Cenerentola, the Count in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and Ford in Verdi's Falstaff. He was also recently involved in the chorus with Utah Opera in their productions of Puccini's Turandot, Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles, and Mozart's Cosi fan tutte.

Clara Hurtado Lee, Lyric Coloratura Soprano

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Micaëla (April 8, 23 & 29) in Carmen

Clara Hurtado Lee's warm and brilliant soprano encompasses the lyric coloratura repertoire. She performs with some of the Intermountain Region's leading music organizations including; Utah Symphony & Utah Opera, Salt Lake Choral Artists, Utah Lyric Opera, and The American West Symphony. She also performed internationally in Italy. Some favorite Opera roles include; Lucia, Pamina, Micaela, Susanna (Nozze), Musetta, Cupidon, Sophie (Rosenkavalier), Madame Herz and Adina.

Critics describe her singing as: sparkling, fluid, lyrical, emotionally-charged, and lovely. Clara won1st place in the 2014 NATSAA competition for the Cal-Western Region. She competed in Boston and was a National Semi-finalist, receiving the Harold Stark Award. Clara also shines as a frequent recitalist and concert soloist.

Lynnette Owens, Full Lyric Soprano

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Micaëla (April 21) in Carmen

Carnegie Hall's packed house gave a 10-minute standing ovation and welcoming shouts when Lynnette Owens soloed in Mozart's Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore. She has thrilled audiences and critics alike with her operatic performances that have included Madama Butterfly in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Minnie in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème, and Tosca in Puccini's Tosca amongst numerous others. She has performed with the Lyrical Opera Theater, Rome Festival Opera, Utah Symphony & Opera, Bleeker Street Opera in NYC, Amici Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Sarasota Opera, MidAmerica Productions, the American West Symphony and the Da Camera Choir and Symphony of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

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Abriel Rotzler, Ballet Dancer

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Abriel Rotzler in Carmen


Abriel Rotzler is a twelve-year-old dancer with Ballet West Academy. She has been dancing for 10 years and been in multiple productions with Midvale Main Street Theatre and the Ballet West Company, including four years of The Nutcracker. She is a student of Utah Online School where she is in 7th grade. When Abriel is not doing schoolwork or in the dance studio, she is dancing at home. She is the recipient of several dance scholarships that she is excited to use to expand her performance career. This is her first opportunity to choreograph and she loved every minute of it.

William Goeglein, Bass Baritone

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Zuniga in Carmen


William Goeglein, Bass Baritone, studied in the east where he sang with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera, Bronx opera and Savoy Opera Company. William sang with Utah Opera Company for 16 years totaling 27 roles with that organization. Of his 35 operatic roles include Colline in La Bohème, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Mustafà in L'italiana in Algeri, Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte and Leporello in Don Giovanni. His favorite pastime is fishing on his pontoon boat at Strawberry Reservoir.

Joshua Jensen, Baritone

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Morales in Carmen

Joshua Jensen, baritone, started singing at the age of 11, studying Italian Opera. When he was featured on Park City TV's morning show, the news team declared him the "8th wonder of the world." He sang the roles of the Imperial Commissario and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Sciarrone in Tosca with Lyrical Opera Theater. He has been a concert soloist in the Italian Festival, "Ferragosto" for ten years. He has sung for the Naturalization Oath Ceremony in Salt Lake City and sings frequently for military retirement ceremonies at Hill Air Force Base including for Colonel Christopher Kleinsmith, Master Sergeant Nicole Shinn and Master Sergeant Bernd Tripps. He appeared at the Hill Air Force Base assistance fund kickoff event with Miss Utah USA 2009 and with Miss Utah Teen USA 2009, the Community College of Air Force graduation and recently sang for the Mayor of West Valley City, Mike Windor, March 2013.

Aleena Pedersen, Coloratura Soprano

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Frasquita in Carmen

Aleena, Coloratura Soprano, has loved performing since childhood and is excited to be back again performing with Lyrical Opera Theater. She is currently loving working with the A.R.T.S. outreach program, performing Little Red Riding Hood in elementary schools in Utah. She also enjoys performing with Witness Music in their productions of Lamb of God and Handel's Messiah (soprano soloist). Other production include La Boheme, Into the Woods, Fame, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Me and My Girls. Her favorite performing memories are her solo concert, produced to raise money for mothers and children in South Africa, as well as singing with Witness Music in the men and women's units at the Utah State Prison. Aleena's greatest joy is being mother of seven alongside her best friend and soul mate Trond, and thanks them for their patients and endless support.

Holly Anderson, Mezzo Soprano

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Mercedes in Carmen

Holly Anderson, soprano, has performed in Utah and Idaho for 16 years. Her favorite roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Diana in Lend Me A Tenor, Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, and Domina in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, where she met her husband George. By summer she and her husband own and operate the Cody Old Time Photo photo shop in Cody, Wyoming, and by day she teaches science at the Clark Planetarium.

Ray Arbizu Jr., Lyric Tenor

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El Dancairo in Carmen

Ray Arbizu Jr., lyric tenor, grew up in both European and U.S. opera houses accompaning his famous father, the robust lyric tenor, Ray L. Arbizu, Sr., whose voice and talent Ray Jr. inherited. Ray sang with Lyrical Opera Theater as a concert soloist in the Festa Italiana and sang the role of Sharpless in LOT's Madama Butterfly. He has sung with Utah Opera and has thrilled audiences internationally as a concert soloist in Switzerland in venues including the Rotary Club, Catholic churches and festivals throughout Switzerland. He has been a concert soloist in the Messiah, with the Swiss Choir, various Italian Festivals and cantored for St. Lukes Episcopal church.

Spencer Thurman, Baritone

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Lilas Pastia & Villager in Carmen

Spencer Thurman, baritone, has been doing shows for the past 3 years. His favorite roles he has had the opportunity to portray include Beast in Beauty and the Beast, The Pirate King from The Pirates of Penzance, and Lord Farquaad from Shrek the Musical. He has been part of several theatres and some school plays . He is very excited to be a part of Carmen which is going to be his first opera.



Alyssa Powers, Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Alyssa Powers caught the performing bug at age 10 and has been singing ever since. She has performed for community and professional theaters in her home state of CA, and in Utah where she now resides with her husband and 3 children. She has sung with the San Francisco Girl's Chorus, Utah Symphony and Opera Choruses, and has been a soloist with the West Jordan Symphony and Santa Rosa Symphony League. Alyssa is a member of "The Motley Wandering Minstrels," with whom she has performed leading roles in their Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas in Concert. She holds a B.A. in Music from BYU. She loves volunteering as Choir Director at Peruvian Park Elementary School!


Deborah Siddoway, Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Deborah Siddoway, soprano has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of concerts. As a classically trained musician, her primary performance focus is Opera and Broadway. Her performances include Kate Pinkerton & Mama in Lyrical Opera Theater's Madama Butterfly. Her concert soloist performances include singing Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" and Rossini's "Duetto buffo di due gatti" with Lyrical Opera Theater soloing in the Matsumoto, Japan/Salt Lake City sister city Gala. She has been featured in the Italian festival "Ferragosto" and West Valley City, Mayor Mike Winder's Gala concert. Her vocal repertoire includes, English, Italian, German, French and Latin. Although she holds a Master's in Business and certification in Human Resources her passion is in the arts. She is living proof you are never too old to follow your dreams.

Sonja Jensen, Lyric Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

It has been said of Sonja Jensen, soprano, that she was "born for the stage. She has been involved in the performing world for many years thrilling audiences with vivid character portrayals and sultry singing. She recently performed the roles of Desdemona in Mad Mahoney and Rosy in Justice at the Gold Dust with Poison Ivy Mysteries and has been a concert soloist with Lyrical Opera Theater singing on their Heart's Song concert and in the Italian Festivals, Ferragosto and Festa Italiana.

Sue Sohm, Mezzo Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Sue Bown Sohm, a native Californian, was most recently seen in HMS Pinafore. She has sung in the Livermore Valley Opera, Livermore CA, and Utah Opera. She has studied under David Power (Utah), Harriet Aloojian and Karen Schipper (California). Upcoming productions include The Consul and The Grand Duke, both in Summer 2017.


Serena Mckerell, Coloratura Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Serena Mackerell has been singing since she was a child and has since matured to become a member of the Utah Opera Company, Utah Symphony Chorus, and a 3x champion at NATS. She is proud to now be performing with the Lyrical Opera Theater. She is a coloratura soprano and enjoys singing opera/classical most, but is well rounded in musical theater as well. Key roles include, Phantom's Christine, Mermaid's Ariel, West Side Story's Maria, and Brigadoon's Fiona. But her favorite roles are wife to Travis, and mother to their triplets, Vivian, Harrison, and Dean!

Grace Clements, Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Grace Clements is 14 years old and has played the piano since she was 6 years old. She sang for several years in the Salt Lake Children's Choir where she learned to sing in several languages. She has recently started voice and piano lessons with Lynnette Owens. Grace excels in percussion at Frontier Middle School and teaches piano lessons to several students





Felicia Lundie, Full Lyric Soprano

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Villager in Carmen

Felicia Lundie is a lyric soprano, who has been singing since she was 6. She is pleased to make her Lyrical Opera Theater debut after a time away from performing to be with her daughter, Elise, who is now 3. Felicia holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University and an MM from the University of Utah. Felicia has performed with the Utah Opera, Utah Opera Chorus as well as the West Jordan Symphony. She has also performed internationally in Italy. Some favorite Opera roles include: Madame Butterfly in Madama Butterfly, Suor Angelica in Suor Angelia, Beth in Little Women, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and scenes from La Boheme (Mimi) and Cosi fan Tutte (Fiordiligi). Felicia is eternally grateful for the support of her wonderful husband, Steve.

Tahlia Schindler, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Tahlia Schindler age 11, is a 5th grader at The McGillis School. She enjoys singing and has been a vocal student of Lynnette Owens for almost 2 years. She was a featured performer at the Utah Democratic fundraiser "Garden Party" in 2015. She has studied violin since the age of 5 and is currently a student at the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City. She enjoys singing in monthly master classes and performing in her school talent shows held annually. She has participated in many violin recitals and concerts through her affiliation with the Gifted Music School. She was a member of the Alta ski racing team for 2 years and medaled in the Slalom event in 2014 at the age of 9. She enjoys skiing, rock climbing, horseback riding, and mountain biking with her family and friends.

Jamie Forchic, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Jamie Forchic, Soprano, is eleven years old and has been singing and playing the piano under the tutelage of Lynnette Owens for four years. She sang the roll of the Shepherdess in Lyrical Opera Theater's Tosca. She has also been dancing since the age of four. Jamie loves all forms of artistic expression and is a talented visual artist as well. She is currently in sixth grade, a disciplined student who also loves animals, being out in nature, reading and spending time with her family.

Esther Clements, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Esther Clements, soprano, has been playing the piano since she was 6 years old. She started singing in the Salt Lake Children's Choir when she was 7 years old. She sang there for two years. She then sang in the American Heritage Children's choir for one year. She has recently begun taking voice lessons with Lynnette Owens and is constantly singing in her home.



Emma Clements, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Emma Clements, soprano, has sung with the American Heritage Children's Choir and the Salt Lake Children's Choir. She has been taking piano lessons for several years and enjoys playing duets. She also enjoys singing and playing outside with her friends.




Yanyan Chen Li, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Yanyan Chen Li is a talented young musician who has already been a soloist at a Senior Living Center and who takes weekly lessons for piano, voice and guitar. She also enjoys ice-skating and hanging out with her friends at Eastwood Elementary School.





Angelina Persinger, Soprano

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Children's Chorus in Carmen

Angelina Persinger is a 5th grader at Grace Lutheran School. She is a high honor roll student, plays piano in the intermediate band, and is also talented in sports and currently is on the school soccer team, volleyball team and basketball team. She competes on swim team in the summer, her favorite stroke is the 50 Free. Angelina previously was on a top performing competitive dance team for three years. Angelina is also a very talented artist and likes to draw animals. She loves music and arts and any opportunities to perform and be on stage.


Caylee Caldwell

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Stagehand in Carmen

Caylee Shea Caldwell is an eighth grader at Salt Lake Arts Academy where she has played such diverse roles as the evil Duke of Cornwall in King Lear and the feisty Marianne in Sense and Sensibility. She is now trying her hand at directing Poe's Telltale Heart. Her past performances include the lead, as well as many other roles, in Salt Lake Dance Center's The Night Before Christmas ballet, Carnival Cruise Line shows, and company jazz team and ballet solo competitions. She also competed for Black Diamond Sports Center gymnastics team for four years and now spends her time training for Ute Crossfit teen competitions. She will be attending the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts in the fall and is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Lyrical Opera Theater.

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Upcoming Performances

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