A Night at the Opera

Many people are intimidated by the idea of watching a live or recorded opera because most performances are in foreign languages and they can get long. In March, Circles sent 2 team members out to challenge these ideas and encourage our readers to try the opera if they have an opportunity. Nick is an avid opera goer and enjoys many of the stories presented in operas, along with the music and costumes. Jocelyn, who is hearing impaired, attended the opera for the very first time and shares her experience with the visual aspect of the performance, and the overall
experience.

Carmen is a tragic opera about love, jealousy and murder written by French composer Georges Bizet, and first performed in 1875. This performance was put on by the UNLV Performing Arts Center on March 16th, 2012.

Review by Jocelyn Land:

“I really liked my trip to the opera show ‘Carmen’ at the UNLV Performing Arts Center. Circles Magazine gave me an opera show ticket in March. I went there on a Friday night and, before going in, a person by the door gave me a program book. The show started shortly after I arrived. I watched the show and it was an awesome performance. I
watched the actors for a long time. It was the longest show I have ever I seen, so I was glad that there was good acting all through. The opera of Carmen was a good one. There were not that many people around after the show. We met a few of the actors and asked them to sign our books, plus took pictures with some of them. The pictures were
really awesome.

I liked the opera show because it seems like acting, and I like the way the actors show emotions. It seems like lots practice and hard work – there were four acts at different times, each one was around an hour and they were all very different.”

Review by Nicholas Roque:

“On Friday March 16th, nighttime, I went to the UNLV Ham Concert Hall with my mom and two Circles team members and saw a 4-act opera called ‘Carmen’. I really liked the soldier’s costumes because they were wearing military uniform. In my opinion, the performers did a good job on the stage and the theater crew did well with the lighting. For example, when Don Jose kills Carmen all the lights turned red. The orchestra also did an excellent job with the music. The performers portraying Don Jose, Carmen, and Michaela had especially beautiful singing voices and were my favorite singers. I especially enjoyed Carmen and Don Jose’s duet and respective arias. When the gypsies did the Bohemian dance with Carmen, their dancing was excellent. Carmen did a fantastic job with the gypsy dance. I loved the emotional tension
in the act 4 finale when Carmen sees Don Jose. She says, “C’est toi” (“it’s you”), and he replies, “C’est moi” (“it’s me”). They then sing a beautiful duet. Don Jose is so jealous of Carmen’s new lover that he stabs her to death in the end. I felt like the performer portraying Escamillo did not have a very powerful singing voice and couldn’t hit the high notes. I love opera and want to share them with everyone. I grew up watching broadcasts of The Met performing live on Saturdays at local Regal Theatres.”

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