NJ Theaters To Host Bizet’s “Carmen”

NEWARK—Continuing their partnership, Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra present “Carmen,” Bizet’s opera of passion, jealousy and murder, in three venues across the state.

Performances take place on Friday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Matthews Theatre Auditorium at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton; Sunday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. at NJPAC in Newark. Tickets range in price from $25 to $125 in Princeton and from $25 to $109 in New Brunswick and Newark.

Internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves will perform the opera’s iconic title role. Metropolitan Opera veteran Richard Leech performs the role of Don José, and Luis Ledesma performs that of Escamillo, the dashing toreador. Joseph Rescigno conducts. The performance will be sung in French with English supertitles.

Maestro Rescigno says he is always excited to make the well-known work feel fresh. “The ongoing challenge for a conductor—especially one who has conducted this work repeatedly—is to cut through its great audience familiarity and rediscover the magic that caused this opera to become, and remain, the most popular in the French repertoire. Very carefully, I try to strip my mind of the many performances I’ve conducted and recordings I’ve heard, and cultivate a personal connection to the printed page.

“Especially in Carmen, the opera’s rhythms are life’s rhythms, and the conductor must have a total command of pacing to bring this opera to life,” he says.

Tickets for all performances are available for purchase from the NJSO Box Office by phone at 1-800-255-3476 or online at www.njsymphony.org. Tickets for the NJPAC engagement may also be purchased through the NJPAC Box Office by phone at 1-888-466-5722, online at www.njpac.org or in person at 1 Center Street in Newark.

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