"GEORGES BIZET'S CARMEN opened Utah Opera’s new season on October 8, featuring a uniformly young and attractive cast under the direction of Tara Faircloth. Faircloth deftly fleshed out characters’ motivation, driving momentum and credibility as the story careened to its fated conclusion. She also injected a modicum of humor that, despite one bit of slapstick in the first act that had soldiers swooning during the “Habanera,” briefly relieved mounting tension. The opera, sung in French with English titles, incorporated original spoken dialogue, delivered beautifully by cast members. . .
Sarah Tucker’s Micaëla also stood out. Her gleaming soprano, long blond braids and simple dress cried innocence amidst the morally ambiguous surroundings. Her passionate “Je dis que rein ne m’épouvante” showed impeccable pitch and phrasing. Christian Bowers as Escamillo cut a fine figure as the bullfighter and shared a well-choreographed fight with José . . .
Conductor Robert Tweten, conducting members of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, showed sensitivity to singer’s needs and produced a cohesively balanced and precise performance. The preludes to each act were musical gems, Bizet’s infectious melodies becoming earworms of an agreeable kind. " -Opera News
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