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Carmen at Mill City Museum
June 13 – June 24$50 – $250
Mill City Summer Opera returns to the newly-renovated Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard with a spectacular staging of Bizet’s Carmen, directed by Fenlon Lamb and starring Audrey Babcock (Carmen), Adam Diegel (Don José), Karen Slack (Micaela) and Luis Orozco (Escamillo). This year, MSCO has expanded its schedule to include an extra performance – seven shows from July 13-24 – and has added a family-friendly Wednesday matinee. Now in its seventh season, the acclaimed opera company continues to delight audiences with performances in the only American venue where world-class opera is performed in historic ruins under the stars.
One of the greatest operas of all time, the epochal Carmen is set in 19th century Spain and deals with the love and jealousy of Don José, who is lured away from his duty as a soldier and his beloved Micaela by the cigar factory-girl Carmen. The Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard provides the perfect setting for the richness and sensuality of Carmen, as the stone walls and river vistas serve as the backdrop to the inevitable challenge between Carmen and Don José at the bullring.
Making her first appearance as stage director with MCSO will be Fenlon Lamb. Lamb is a singing actress turned stage director who has both performed and directed Carmen.
Singing the role of Carmen will be Audrey Babcock. An accomplished vocal artist, Babcock continues her run of more than 100 performances in the role.
Tenor Adam Diegel is Don José, returning to MCSO after his performances in Tosca in 2014. Diegel’s reprises the role after performances at Opera Theater St. Louis, English National Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival.
Karen Slack, soprano, seen this winter as Sister Rose in Minnesota Opera’s production of Dead Man Walking, and Luis Orozco, performing last summer as el Payador on MCSO’s Maria de Buenos Aires, are also featured as leads. Slack will sing the role of Micaela and Orozco will perform as Escamillo.
Rounding out the cast are local, national and international artists including Benjamin Dutcher, Nadia Fayad, Siena Forest, Andrew Lovato, Eric Morris, Benjamin Sierverding, Andrew Wannigman, a chorus of 24 singers, dancers and full live orchestra.
Returning to design the sets for 2018 is Narelle Sissons whose work at MCSO has included set designs for Pagliacci and Sweeney Todd. Sarah Bahr, will design the costumes, Nate Wheatley the lighting, and Jason Allen will return for his seventh season as wig and make-up designer. Brian DeMaris, in his seventh season as Music Director of MCSO, will also be serving as Interim Artistic Director for the 2018 season.
New this year, Mill City Summer Opera will present “Carmen for Young Audiences” on Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 am at the Mill City Museum. The performance will be a shortened version of the story with material from Carmen geared for children. This special one-hour show, featuring Nadia Fayed in the title role and a smaller cast, introduces the concept of opera to children and includes audience participation as well. Singers will be in costume and will be accompanied by piano. Tickets, available at the door, are $5 for adults and free for children.
Tickets ($50-$125; Opening Night $200-$250) – excluding the Wednesday, July 18 show – are available at 612-875-5544, or online. Rush seats will be available for all performances the day of show at 6:00 pm at the Mill City Museum.
Performance Dates and Times
• Opening Night – Friday, July 13 (pre-party at 6 pm, performance at 7:30 pm, with after-party)
• Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 pm
• Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 pm
• Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 am – “Carmen for Young Audiences” (adults $5; children free)
• Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 pm
• Friday, July 20 at 7:30 pm
• Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 pm
• Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 pm