Title

Challenging Carmen

Poster Number

1

Lead Author Major

Vocal Performance and Theatre Arts

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Jim Haffner

Faculty Mentor Department

Music

Abstract/Artist Statement

According to Opera America, George Bizet’s Carmen is one of the top ten most produced operas in America. Through librettists Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, Carmen is a story about a gypsy, Carmen, who meddles in sorcery and achieves her objective through seduction. The origin of the story comes from the likenamed novel by Prosper Merimee, though his account revolves around that of Don Jose, one of Carmen’s love interests. These memoirs of Don Jose propelled us to challenge the approach of the traditional productions that center around the heroine, Carmen. It is our hypothesis that Carmen is truly a story about Don Jose and wish to create a theoretical production built upon that ideal. Through the literary device of a flashback, the story of Don Jose has come to life. While discussing this production as director and designer, it became apparent that this approach needed to be grounded in Merimee’s novel. In junction with each other, we focused on the essence of the opera. This entailed looking for sensory descriptions for each of the four acts, the linking symbols and plot progressions, shared research, and a larger understanding of the main role, Don Jose. Director and designer collaboration led to several new and interesting conclusions, such as the environment of the four acts should reflect the four major elements of earth, fire, water, and air. This theoretical production will call into question the previous productions of Carmen in hopes of revealing an overlooked message of the traditional story.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2013 12:00 PM

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 12:00 PM

Challenging Carmen

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

According to Opera America, George Bizet’s Carmen is one of the top ten most produced operas in America. Through librettists Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, Carmen is a story about a gypsy, Carmen, who meddles in sorcery and achieves her objective through seduction. The origin of the story comes from the likenamed novel by Prosper Merimee, though his account revolves around that of Don Jose, one of Carmen’s love interests. These memoirs of Don Jose propelled us to challenge the approach of the traditional productions that center around the heroine, Carmen. It is our hypothesis that Carmen is truly a story about Don Jose and wish to create a theoretical production built upon that ideal. Through the literary device of a flashback, the story of Don Jose has come to life. While discussing this production as director and designer, it became apparent that this approach needed to be grounded in Merimee’s novel. In junction with each other, we focused on the essence of the opera. This entailed looking for sensory descriptions for each of the four acts, the linking symbols and plot progressions, shared research, and a larger understanding of the main role, Don Jose. Director and designer collaboration led to several new and interesting conclusions, such as the environment of the four acts should reflect the four major elements of earth, fire, water, and air. This theoretical production will call into question the previous productions of Carmen in hopes of revealing an overlooked message of the traditional story.