Friday, January 10, 2014

Carmen Opens January 17

Cedar Rapids - Experience Bizet’s vibrant and beloved opera Carmen at the Paramount Theatre, Friday, January 17 at 8:00PM and Sunday, January 19 at 2:00PM. CR Opera’s new production of Carmen, sung in French with English supertitles, is directed by Bill Ferrara with Orchestra Iowa Musicians directed by Daniel Kleinknecht. Featuring Iowa native, mezzo soprano Janara Kellerman in the title role, and baritone Philip Torre in the role of Escamillo, the Toreador.

A free pre-opera talk is held one hour prior to each performance at the Paramount, on Friday, 1/17 in the Encore Lounge and on Sunday, 1/19 in the Opus Cafe. Tickets are available through the Orchestra Iowa Ticket Office located at 119 Third Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Tickets may also be purchased by phone 319.366.8203 or online at For more information about the opera, visit

About Carmen Carmen, first performed in Paris, on March 3, 1875 is Georges Bizet’s most well-known opera. The story tells the passionate tale of the seductive and fiery gypsy Carmen, soldier Don José who is captivated by her charms, and the dashing matador Escamillo. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée.

Cast and Designers The role of Carmen will be performed by Cedar Rapids native mezzo soprano, Janara Kellerman. Baritone Phil Torre, returning from CR Opera’s last season as Marcello in La Boheme, plays Escamillo, the Toreador. Tenor Alok Kumar is the soldier, Don Jose.

An Adult Opera Chorus will join with Cedar Rapids Opera Young Artists and area high school students to create energetic chorus numbers throughout the opera along with a lively Children’s Opera Chorus.

Set designer Rob Sunderman creates the physical world of the opera, 19th century Seville, Spain, on the Paramount stage. The opera’s luscious and colorful costumes are designed by Janie Westendorf.

About Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Founded in 1998 by conductor Daniel Kleinknecht, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre presents two to three operas each season as well as other opera-related events and programs. International artists as well as American artists are featured in the productions. Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre has presented standard repertoire, 21st century repertoire, and premiers. The company’s nationally respected Young Artist Program offers college and university trained vocal performance majors an opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals in every production. As one of only two professional opera companies in Iowa, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is committed to high quality productions and education of audiences of all ages.

About Orchestra Iowa

Founded in 1921, Orchestra Iowa is widely recognized as the state’s premier symphony orchestra. The Orchestra’s mission is to foster enjoyment of, and support for fine symphonic music through quality performances, education and community involvement. Under the direction of Timothy Hankewich, now celebrating his eighth season as Music Director, its 68 professional musicians perform more than 150 public performances throughout the year, many of which can be heard on Iowa Public Radio and seen on Iowa Public Television. Orchestra Iowa showcases its artistic excellence each season through an accomplished array of classical, ballet, opera, popular and chamber performances, in addition to extensive community education and involvement.

Related Events

Gypsy Brunch
Sunday, January 19, 11:30am-1pm
Enjoy a special brunch in the Paramount Theatre’s Encore Lounge with tapas and bloody mary bar along with tunes from our Young Artists, then step on the stage for an up-close and personal look at the set with the director. Event ends at 1pm in time for the Curtain Talk in Opus Café and the Carmen matinee at 2pm. Limited seating, $50*/person (*This is a fundraiser for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's Young Artist Program; cost of brunch 100% tax deductible, thanks to the sponsor, The Anderson Group at Morgan Stanley).

Tickets available from the Opera Office, 319-365-7401 or

Source: Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre press release

No comments: