“La Tragedie de Carmen”

March 9, 2011

March 11-20

Basile Opera Center

What’s different about the new Indianapolis Opera’s production of George Bizet’s classic opera? A lot. For starters, the sound doesn’t have to fill the vast expanse of Clowes Memorial Hall. Instead, this will be the first full IO production to be staged at the intimate Basile Opera Center (think “mid-to-small church” in size). The work itself has been adapted by Peter Brook, who has theatricalized it, using spoken dialogue and cutting the length down considerably (don’t look for the kind of massive chorus you might see at Clowes). Purists will also note Brooks’ addition of characters—including Carmen’s husband—and his juggling of scenes and action. Scaled-down musical support comes from members of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

The hope is that the intimacy adds a different kind of magic to the show—the opera fans and newcomers alike will appreciate having a (bull)ring-side seat for the passionate work. If it works—and here’s another addition—there will be more time for word of mouth to spread. Unlike the single-weekend schedule, “Carmen” will have eight performances over two weekends. Details here.