|Carmen Dress Rehearsal|
Accompanied by piano collaborator, Dr. Kinza Tyrrell, from the vigor of the first notes to the sadness of the final scene, her participation anchored, but never overwhelmed the singers. She supported, focussed and fulfilled the role of a pit orchestra to the extent that the audience never seemed to realize that there was no pit orchestra!
|Backstage with Frederik Robert (Don Jose)|
and Natalie Burdeny (Carmen)
Natalie Burdeny's contralto was perfect for the part of Carmen. She showed an enviable understanding of the role, careful use of the many nuances of her vocal arsenal, to portray the vagaries of Carmen's personality. Her card scene was particularly memorable as she was able to counter-point the darkness of her fate against the frivolity of sopranos Frasquita (Kathleen Morrison) and Mercedes (Jeanine Fynn), both small parts but well done, controlled and balanced.
|The Smugglers Backstage - L to R: |
Kathleen Morrison (Frasquita), Paul Just
(Remendado), Natalie Burdeny (Carmen),
Ed Moran (Dancaire), and Jeanine Fynn (Mercedes)
|Arianna Sovernigo as Micaela|
The greatest excitement brought to an already exciting evening was contributed by baritone Andrew Greenwood, who made his entrance as Escamillo striding down the centre aisle of the church. Greenwood brought to his part the European experience of having sung this role in Prague. Given the freedom of a memorized part, this allowed him the opportunity to act, to relate and to play with his character which brought even more reality to the production, that had already mesmerized the rapt audience.
|Baritone Andrew Greenwood |
Review Contributor, Opera Canada Magazine