Reviews - Open Dress at Tara Theatre, Earlsfield

Having seen many versions of Carmen films - all exceptionally great - it’s only a brave individual who will even attempt to stage Carmen, knowing that the expectations will be very high. However, this show has all the ingredients of being one of this year’s smash hits!!

It’s a night to remember.... I love everything about this show. Absolutely brilliant!
— Josephine Howell - 5/5*
I hadn’t heard of Rogue Opera before last night. Boy! was I missing out.

I was a bit skeptical about a production of Carmen with a cast of 6 ... It really worked. It was gorgeous. Great performances from the cast.
— Mark Crotty - 4/5*
Congratulations to Rogue Opera for producing such a good show of Carmen. Mesmerising performance by all the actors. They bring the play to life.

Don José, played by Alex Pidgen, was fantastic in the role.

A thoroughly enjoyable show.
— Noor Sumun - 5/5*
Acting can sometimes be an issue in Opera but this was well acted and convincing.

The singing was lovely and with a few props they evoked the the atmosphere of gypsy camp fire and bullring.

Thoroughly enjoyed it and had a good cry!
— Angela Ellis - 4/5*
Excellent pared-down production ... the
audience was able to focus on the characters and their motivation.

This Carmen seemed to be driven by the sense of her own impending doom and her determination to remain free to the last, while José seemed a victim of his own weakness and indecision - a nice change from blaming everything on Women.

The cast of 6 [gave] a polished performance with no weak links, switching between roles with ease. notably in the case of Erika Mädi Jones who appeared as both nice girl Micaëla and the probably not-so-nice Frasquita. Bronwen Stephens [who] directed as well as singing Carmen, gave a strong performance. Michelle Buckley danced well [and] Music director Varia Doletskaya gave a sensitive and tireless performance
on keyboard.

Even the French was better than you often hear in major houses...
— Alison & Mike Classe - 4/5*
Nice small theatre and production. Being so close to the actors made me feel part of the gipsy tribe! It definitely made it intimate.

The actors were really great, especially Carmen. Go see it for yourself!
— Aniko Madi - 4/5*
 

Reviews of Rogue Opera's cast...

In this transporting transformative and transgressive Trousered Traviata, Bronwen Stephens’ performance of snobby ice queen mother Giorgia who hides none of her distaste for socially inferior Violetta was genuinely scary.
— Eric Page, www.gscene
 

 
Bronwen Stephens’ cold, impenetrable, unsmiling Giorgia [...] exploits Violetta’s self-doubt and vulnerability. Stephens is utterly convincing as the iron-fisted mother.
— www.fringeopera.com
 

 
The role of Nemorino is a gift for the right kind of singing actor... Alexander Pidgen [...] brought to it just the right combination of gormless befuddlement in his acting and genuine beauty in his singing. “Una furtiva lagrima” [is] surely one of the most exposed arias in the repertoire, accompanied in the main just by harp arpeggios and the occasional woodwind melody echoing the singer. Here at least no amount of bluster will disguise a flawed technique, but Pidgen passed the test admirably.”
— Roger Smith, BachTrack
 

 
Erika Mädi Jones’s Elisabeth […] was a very captivating performance and she sang with resplendent
and intelligently nuanced tone throughout.
— Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International
 

 
Elisabeth is sung with fervour by the impressive Erika Mädi Jones
— Rian Evans, The Guardian
 

 
..a Papageno of great charm from Themba Mvula.
— Christopher Morley, Opera Magazine
 

 
[Mvula’s] lyrical voice shone with tone and emotion and he fully engaged and convinced
his own personal confusion and patience.
— Eric Page, www.Gscene