Spanish gypsies, strapping bullfighters, and the masterfully seductive music of Bizet make for one of the most stunning (and steamiest!) operas ever written. There’s no wonder Carmen is one of the most often performed and beloved operas in all of the world. Don José, a young soldier, has his life planned out: he has a solid career in the military, he’ll marry his innocent hometown sweetheart, everything in perfect order. But then he meets Carmen. The sensual tale of a free-spirited untamable gypsy girl, Carmen seethes with passion, emotion, and desire. Bizet’s stunning music paints the days of Spanish heat—and the nights of fiery passion—with an all-consuming fever that cannot be ignored. Be seduced. Especially with the dynamic Noah Stewart returning to join this Nashville Opera production as Don Juan.
Carmen will be at Andrew Jackson Hall in Nashville’s TPAC, Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, April 8, at 8:00 pm. The opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet is sung in French with projected English translations, with two 20-minute intermissions; the total running time is 2 hours, 55 minutes.
The music of Carmen has been widely acclaimed for brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet musically represented the emotions and suffering of his characters. The opera has been recorded many times since the first acoustical recording in 1908, and the story has been the subject of many screen and stage adaptations. The films range across many languages and cultures, and have been created by prominent directors including Raoul Walsh, Cecil B. DeMille, Otto Preminger, Jean-Luc Godard and Robert Townsend.
Preminger’s Carmen Jones was adapted from a 1943 Broadway musical of the same name, starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, where the story is transposed to 1940s Chicago, and employs an all-black cast. See the accompanying Women’s History Month feature on Dorothy Dandridge for more about Carmen Jones.
Meet Noah Stewart (Carmen’s Don Juan)
Lauded for his distinctive timbre, magnetic stage presence and movie star good looks, Noah Stewart has become one of opera’s most sought after international performers. He is especially recognized for his portrayals in the romantic Italian & French repertory and is a frequent guest artist with major opera companies and concert halls around the world.
Noah’s musical development started in Harlem, where he studied classical music at The Harlem School of the Arts. At age 12, his choir teacher encouraged him to pursue a music career. He began doing voice-overs for Sesame Street and television school specials and won first place in the New England Music Competition in Boston. Since Training at The Juilliard School, Noah Stewart’s debut album for DECCA became a major success in the United Kingdom, topping the classical charts for 7 weeks.
In Spring 2012, he made a critically-lauded debut at Covent Garden as Hassan in Judith Wier’s Miss Fortune, a role he premiered at the Bregenzer Festspiele in the summer of 2011. Further North American engagements included Rodolfo at Opera Columbus and Nashville Opera, the title role of Faust at Atlanta Opera, Rodolfo at Florentine Opera and New Orleans Opera, the Prince (A Flowering Tree) at Chicago Opera Theater as well at the Gulbenkian in Lisbon; Cavaradossi, Ismaele, Nadir, Rodolfo and Pinkerton for Michigan Opera Theater; Luigi (Il Trittico) for the Castleton Festival; Rodolfo and Cavaradossi with New Orleans and Florentine Opera and with the Orlando Philharmonic; Narraboth at the Arizona Opera and Radames at the Glimmerglass Festival. Outside the United States, he has sung Don Jose at Scottish Opera, Osaka at Opera Holland Park as well as Don Pedro Alvarado in Peter Sellars’ acclaimed production of Purcell Indian Queen, which premiered at the Bolshoi Opera, Teatro Real Madrid and Opera Perm.
Notable orchestral appearances include the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK), Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philhamonic Orchestra, Manchester Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony. Noah has performed on three BBC Proms concerts’ as well as being named a BBC Music Ambassador and made his broadcasting debut at The Cardiff Singer of the World on the BBC.
Recent engagements include making his Viennese debut at The Konzerthaus on The Christmas In Vienna Concert, returning as guest soloist with The Hallé Orchestra for a Holiday Opera Gala to a sell-out audience, debuting his third solo UK tour entitled, “In Love Again, Tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with San Francisco Choral and making is company and role debut as Osaka in Mascagni’s tragic opera, Iris with Opera Holland Park in London, his Göteborg Opera debut as Don Jose in David McVicar’s acclaimed production of Carmen in Sweden, as well as the new production of Carmen at Nashville Opera.