Meet our Carmen – a no-compromise cast for Aurora’s 40th special season
As the Aurora Opera House gears up for its upcoming opera production, it is pleased to announce a world-class cast that sees major opera houses across the globe convening in Gozo as their leading singers assemble in one celebratory cast.
This year’s Carmen, to be held on Saturday, 15 October at 7.30pm will mark the launch of a special anniversary season that celebrates the Aurora Opera House’s 40th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of opera renaissance in Malta, with the first-ever opera held in Gozo in January 1977, at the Aurora. This is a pivotal date in the history of opera in Malta since it broke a long period of hibernation for the operatic genre on the islands and created a renewed enthusiasm across the nation.
To mark this special anniversary in style and class, the Aurora administration made no compromise with this year’s cast. Indeed, it sought to bring out the best leading elements out of the world’s most prominent opera houses.
The title role of Carmen will be interpreted by the Bulgarianborn mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva. “The rich, smoky colours and earthy sensuality of her voice were matched by the naturalness of her acting and a fiery temperament at one with this touchstone mezzo role,” John Von Rhein writes in the Chicago Tribune about the debut of Ms Krasteva as Carmen on the stage of the Chicago opera. The audience has also applauded to Ms Krasteva’s bravura role, on leading opera stages namely the Vienna State Opera, the Arena di Verona, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the National Opera Amsterdam, the O2 Arena in Hamburg, the National Opera Riga, the National Opera Sofia, New York’s Metropolitan and Milan’s La Scala.
She will be accompanied by the Italian world-class tenor Roberto De Biasio, who among other notable appearances, is coming from his latest success at the MetOpera in New York. Escamillo at the Aurora will be none less than La Scala’s own Escamillo – Marcin Bronikowski who also starred in London’s renowned Royal Opera House of Covent Garden. The main quartet will be rounded up by a champion upand-coming Italian soprano by the name of Giuliana Gianfaldoni, remembered among other roles for her already acclaimed role of Adina with Leo Nucci.
Bizet’s Carmen means an extensive cast with a further secondary quartet. Other artists include Gabriele Ribis who has also performed Dancairo at the Arena di Verona, Eduardo Santamaria as Remendado, Lara Rotili as Mercedes and Madina Karbeli as Frasquita who recently performed as Adina, the leading role, in Elisir d’Amore at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. Gianluca Breda, who has already appeared at the Aurora in 2013 and as Zuniga at the Arena di Verona to great acclaim will be the first lieutenant, while Francesco Baiocchi will accompany him as Morales.
The strength and consistency in a no-compromise policy when it comes to cast is actually why audiences keep on trusting the Aurora so much so that tickets are bought well before the cast is announced. Colin Attard, on his 25th anniversary at the Aurora, leads the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra while cast and choirs will be directed by Novella Tabili from Rome.
In fact, less than a 100 seats remain with a handful of €80, €70 and €60 remaining. Other tickets are available at €45 on the fourth floor.
Carmen at the Aurora is being supported by the Gozo Cultural Support Programme; a joint initiative between Arts Council Malta and the Ministry for Gozo.
For bookings visit www.teatruaurora.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the 24/7 ticket helpline 7904 5779.
Roberto De Biasio