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PRESS RELEASE

Former Soldier stabs Gypsy Ex-Lover to Death in Crime of Passion

Rogue Opera presents a new production of Bizet’s Carmen for six singers, piano and dancer

(Running time: 2 hours with 20 minute interval)

 Bizet’s Carmen is one of the most popular and familiar operas, with its music and characters known well outside the genre.  But it is more than just a grand spectacle or operatic tragedy.  When Bizet created Carmen from the short story by Prosper Merrimée, he broke operatic convention by celebrating proletarian and immoral ways of life.  He also vividly brought to life the character of Carmen (almost a side note in the original text) as a complex, proud and spirited woman who strove at every turn to claim independence and agency in her life, love and friendships.

Rogue Opera strips away the pomp and pageantry to present a raw and intimate piece of theatre, examining the power dynamics between people and social classes through this tale of seduction, obsession, rejection and revenge, heightened by Bizet’s captivating music.

Carmen and the Gypsies seek a bohemian life, finding freedom outside of the law.  José, drawn to Carmen and this unconventional world, is torn between love, duty and honour.  Micaëla, innocent and pious, represents a simpler way of life, and the charismatic bullfighter Escamillo, in many ways also free of society’s restrictions, soon becomes a rival for Carmen’s affections.  The dramatic resolution of the story was shocking and unconventional in depicting such violence on stage at its 1875 premier.  Just as shocking is that this tragedy is still pertinent today, where the simple act of saying ‘no’ too often turns love and passion into abuse and fatal revenge.

Directed by Bronwen Stephens, with Varia Doletskaya as Music Director and Choreography & Movement Direction by Michelle Buckley, and featuring a cast of professional singers, Rogue Opera’s Carmen debuts at the Tara Theatre in the Wandsworth Arts Fringe.  The production will then go on tour and is designed to be played in almost any space, fulfilling Rogue Opera’s mission to bring top class-opera to new audiences and spaces.  Future shows include performances in a 15th century barn in Kent for an audience of 90, in a Synagogue Hall in North London and at a pop-up pub in a riverside cellar conversion in The Malverns.

For more information or press interviews please contact Bronwen Stephens, Director of Rogue Opera, at
info@rogueopera.co.uk or on T: 07739721086.  For full cast biographies please visit http://www.rogueopera.co.uk/cast
Other links:             Tara Theatre - www. tara-arts.com          Wandsworth Fringe - www.wandsworthfringe.com

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