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Art Events Going Out Oxford Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Oxfordshire Theatre

Carmen at the Oxford Playhouse

A review by Nicholas Newman

Last Sunday, Oxford Opera Company professional team of performers staged with local volunteers including members of the Oxford Opera Society, the ever-popular opera Carmen. Unfortunately, for the audience it was a one-off sold-out performance, which is a great pity.

For those not familiar with the plot, it is an opera full of many memorable numbers, in many ways similar to a modern musical. But to be brief it is about the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous torero Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.

The limited budget for staging and lighting, meant that the audience could fully focus on the professional soloists. As for the performance, despite the often-overcrowded stage it was a memorable and joyous entertainment for the audience.

As for Oxford Opera Company, I do hope it gives fresh opportunities for local people based in our city, not just university students to perform and participate in opera.

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