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  • Phoenicia Park, Main Stage Saint Ursula Place Phoenicia, NY, 12464 United States (map)
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Saturday August 4, 2018

Pre-Talk on Carmen with Maestro Michael Fennelly 7:00pm, Main Stage

8pm-10pm Phoenicia Park, Main Stage - $5, $35, $95(VIP)

Carmen by Georges Bizet

Set in Seville--in this creative new conception, during The Spanish Civil War, in 1937--the opera deals with the jealous passion of Don José for Carmen, the gypsy factory girl who lures him away from his duty as a soldier and his childhood sweetheart so she can be freed from custody, setting in motion a chain of tragedies.

Carmen Synopsis

A note from the director:

A fresh look sets this classic opera during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, which pitted Nationalist insurgents allied with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany against Republicans aided by the Soviet Union and by international brigades; nearly 3000 U.S. volunteers were known collectively as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The new setting suggests that the characters are committed not only to the pursuit of their own happiness but also to advancing a political cause. Carmen, the ultimate “free spirit,” is a strong woman fighting for female emancipation and for the Republican cause as well. Lillas Pastia is a woman and the head of the Republican resistance movement; the smugglers are freedom fighters in that movement; Escamillo puts his celebrity to use to provide weapons for their fight. Oppression comes in many forms; political dictatorship and male supremacy are two expressions of a similar autocracy.

Act 1
Outside a cigarette factory in Seville, Spain in 1937, at the height of the Spanish war. As the women workers take their break, men gather, and the provocative gypsy, Carmen, asserts in the Habanera her belief that love is free and that no rules bind her. Only a Nationalist soldier of the guard, Don Jose, shows no interest. Intrigued, Carmen throws him a flower, then dashes back inside. Jose keeps the flower as Micaela, his childhood sweetheart, brings him a letter from his mother. As Jose begins to read, a fight erupts inside the factory between Carmen and another woman, and Jose is ordered to arrest Carmen and take her to prison. She entices him instead with the seductive suggestion of a later rendezvous at Lillas Pastia’s tavern. Utterly smitten, Jose lets her escape and is himself arrested.

Act 2
At the tavern, Carmen learns that Jose has been released just as she meets the celebrity bullfighter, Escamillo; sparks fly between them. A pair of freedom fighters seeks to involve Carmen in a proposed action, but she puts them off. Jose arrives and tells Carmen of his love, showing her the very flower she tossed his way, which he has kept as a token through his imprisonment. A bugle call summons him to the barracks. Carmen mocks him, urges him not to report for roll call, but to stay with her. He can’t help himself; he joins the smugglers to be with 



Act 3
In the mountains with the freedom fighters, Carmen and Jose quarrel. Escamillo appears, and he and Jose fight. Escamillo slips and Carmen intervenes to save his life. Boisterous, he invites everyone to come to his next bullfight. Now Micaela shows up as well, informing Jose that his mother is seriously ill. He decides to go home with Micaela but warns Carmen he will see her again. 

Act 4

The following month, in the square in front of the arena, Escamillo, now Carmen’s lover, is welcomed by spectators. He enters the arena followed by the mob as Carmen remains in the square, where Jose confronts her, demanding that she leave with him. She refuses, then takes off the ring Jose once gave her and throws it at his feet. Jose murders her—and is dumbfounded by what he has done.

Saturday August 4, 2018

8pm-11pm Phoenicia Park, Main Stage

$5 Youth Admission/18 and under
$35  General Admission/bring blanket, lawn chair, or rent a chair
$95 VIP Admission/reserved section seating, champagne/snack, festival souvenir

Stage Director and Fight Choreographer: Maria Todaro

Conductor: David Wroe

Assistant Stage Director: Eric Grant

Chorus Master: Michael Fennelly

Children Chorus Master: Harvey Boyer

Choreographer/Dancer: Glenda Sol Koeraus

Dancer: Ricardo Santiago

Stage Manager: Nan Lucchini

Supertitles: Sebastian Wroe

Costume Management: Julia Myers Chen, Rochelle Cooper

Orchestra: The Phoenicia  International Festival of The Voice Orchestra

Adult Chorus: The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Chorus

Children's Chorus: The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Children's Chorus

Carmen: Ginger Costa-Jackson

Don Jose: Adam Diegel

Escamillo: Kyle Albertson

Micaela: Miriam Costa-Jackson

Frasquita: Megan Weston

Mercedes: Laura Virella

Morales/ Dancaire: Brian James Myer

Remendado: Isai Jess Muñoz

Zuniga: Matthew Curran

Manuelita: Katia Michalopoulos

Special appearance of Marissa Perez Rogers in the role of Lillas Pastia

Special appearance of David Crenshaw in the role of Ernest Hemingway

 Click here to discover ALL the artists of Carmen