Concert: 33rd, 34th and 35th
Power Center For The Performing Arts, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
in association with Great Lakes Bancorp
N E W Y O R K
Christopher Keene, General Director
Nancy Kelly, Administrative Director
Joseph Colaneri, Music Director
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Evenings, March 4, 5, and 6, 1993
Power Center for the Performing Arts, at 8:00 p.m.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy Based on a novel by Prosper Merimee
Joseph Colaneri (Thu., Sat.) and Steven Mosteller (Fri.) Directed by Dona D. Vaughn
Scenery by Loy Arcenas
Lighting by Allen Lee Hughes
Costumes by Joseph Citarella
Choreography by Esperanza Galan
English supertitles by Sonya Friedman
Support for the National Company's activities is provided by the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for Lincoln Center, established by the founders of The Reader's Digest Association; The Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust; the GTE Foundation; The Jerrold R. and Shirley Golding Foundation; the Hoechst Celanese Corporation; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Scenery built by Center Line Studios, Inc. Lighting equipment supplied by Bash Lighting, Inc. Poster design created and donated by Arden von Haeger. Rehearsal facilities provided by Friends of the Davis Center at Aaron Davis Hall.
The New York City Opera National Company is represented exclusively by Columbia Artists Management, Inc., New York City.
Special thanks to the Michigan Theater for their presentations of Flamenco Carmen and Carmen Jones as part of our Philips Pre-concert Presentation Series.
33rd, 34th and 35th Concerts of the 114th Season
22nd Annual Choice Series
Place: Seville, Spain Act I: A square outside the cigarette factory
Intermission Act II: Lillas Pastia's tavern
Act III: A mountain pass Act IV: A square outside the Plaza de Toros
Cast of Characters (in order of vocal appearance)
Micaela........Diane Alexander (Thu., Fri.), Angela Randell (Sat.)
Don Jose .........Dennis McNeil (Thu., Fri.) Brad Cresswell (Sat.)
Carmen .......Reveka Mavrovitis (Thu.), Lori Brown Mirabal (Fri.),
Ulrike Pichler-Steffen (Sat.)
Frasquita.....................Risa Renae Harman
Mercedes ........................Janine Hawley
EscamiUo.........Edward Huls (Thu., Fri.), Mark Moliterno (Sat.)
El Remendado ......................John Swenson
El Dancairo.......................Jason Hendrix
Sob Dancer......................Robin Bartunek
Guide .........................Jonathan Guss
Cigarette Girls, Soldiers, Gypsies, Townspeople ........Robin Bartunek,
Brad Cresswell, Thomas Goodheart, Jonathan Guss, Sandra Hormozi, Bernadette LaFond, Teri Medley,
William Mouat, Lori Ann Phillips, Steven Raiford, James Russell, Ilya Speranza
Act I: A square in Seville, Spain
Following the familiar overture, the curtain rises upon a group of soldiers commenting on the coming and going of people in the square. Corporal Morales steps forward to assist a young woman who is looking for a soldier named Don Jose. Morales tells her that Jose will be coming on duty shortly and encourages her to wait with him inside the guard house. Preferring to return later, the girl hastens away.
Don Jose arrives and Morales tells him about the young woman, whom Jose excitedly recognizes as Micaela. Captain Zuniga approaches inquiring if any pretty young girls work in the cigarette factory that stands nearby. Jose confesses that he has taken little notice; he has eyes only for Micaela, who grew up with him in a small village.
Just then the cigarette girls pour out of the building for a break. The men in the square regard them with keen interest, but notice that one of the girls is missing. Much to their delight, the seductive Carmen at last appears. She entices them with the celebrated Habanera
L'amouT est un oiseau rebelk (Love is like a rebellious bird). She pays particular attention to Don Jose, who remains indifferent to her performance. As the girls are summoned back to work, Carmen throws Jose a red rose. At first he ignores the flower, then picks it up and thoughtfully puts it in his pocket.
As Jose contemplates what has happened, Micaela returns. The girl explains that she was sent by his mother to give him a letter, some money, and a kiss. These reminders of home prompt Jose to begin a tender duet, Parle-moi de ma mere (Tell me about my mother), in which he and Micaela reminisce about their native village. Musing that he very nearly fell victim to the dangerous charms of the gypsy Carmen, Jose asks Micaela to tell his mother that she can be proud of her son, who loves her dearly. Promising to deliver the message, Micaela leaves him alone to read his letter.
Before he can finish reading, however, Jose is interrupted by screams from the factory; Carmen has wounded another woman in a violent fight. The soldiers restrain the combatants and demand an account of the altercation from Carmen. When she refuses to tell them anything, Zuniga commands the soldiers to tie her up and assigns JosS to escort her to prison.
Carmen and Jose are left alone together. She begins to flirt with him, singing the seductive SeguidiUa -Pres des remparts de Seville (Close to the walls of Seville). The soldier struggles to resist the bewitching temptress, but finally agrees to let her escape if she will meet him later at Lillas Pastia's inn. When he loosens the ropes that bind her hands, Carmen frees herself and runs off. Zuniga angrily orders the arrest of Don Jose, in whose care the prisoner had been entrusted.
Act II: Lillas Pastia's tavern, two months later
Carmen and her friends, Frasquita and Mercedes, sing and dance for a crowd of soldiers, gypsies, and smugglers. The soldiers invite the women out, but they refuse to go. Zuniga, quite attentive to Carmen, casually mentions that Don Jose was demoted and imprisoned for having allowed her to escape going to prison, but adds that the soldier has recently been released. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Escamillo, the celebrated bullfighter. He relates his adventures in the bullring in the famous Toreador Song Votre toast (A toast to you). The bullfighter is immediately attracted to Carmen, who remains cool to his advances. He departs and the inn is closed for the night.
The smugglers remain behind to plan their next mission. In a sprightly quintet, Remendado and Dancairo seek the assistance of Mercedes, Frasquita, and Carmen. Carmen stubbornly insists upon remaining where she is, however; she tells them that she is in love and expects her beloved at any moment. Just then Don Jose's voice rings out in the distance,
singing a regimental song, carmen rorces me others to leave, but promises to do her best to tempt }osE into joining their band of smugglers.
Jose arrives and presents Carmen with a ring as a token of his affection. She at first remains distant toward him, then begins a sensuous dance that inflames the soldier with passion. When a trumpet sounds the military retreat, Jose declares that he must return to the barracks for roll call. Furious that he would leave her so quickly, Carmen mocks the soldier for his dedication to the force. Jose responds with the haunting Flower Song La fleur que tu m'avais jetee (The flower which
you threw to me), in which he sings of the rose that Carmen gave him at their first meeting; its fragrance sustained him during his long days in prison by evoking her image.
Unmoved, Carmen insists that if he really loved her, he would desert the army and join with her and her smuggler friends in the mountains. Appalled at Carmen's proposal,
Risa Renae Horman (Frasquita), Mark Molitemo (EscamiUo), andjanine Hawley (Mercedes)
Jose angrily prepares to depart, but he is confronted at the door by Zuniga, who has come in search of Carmen. The Captain orders Jose to leave. In a jealous rage, Jose attacks him. At Carmen's cry, her gypsy companions seize Zuniga and tie him up. Don Jose, having assaulted a superior, realizes that how he has no choice but to throw in his lot with Carmen and her friends. He joins his new companions in a rousing paean to freedom la liberte! (liberty!) as the act draws to a close.
Act III: A rocky mountain pass, several weeks later
The smugglers reflect on the dangers of their chosen existence, while Jose laments that his mother would be heartbroken to learn that he had become a criminal. Carmen enters and he lashes out at her for her continued indifference to him. When he swears to kill her, the gypsy replies that she is ready to face death whenever it comes.
Frasquita and Mercedes, sitting nearby, read their fortunes from a deck of cards. Carmen joins them in the bouncy Card Trio Melons, coupons (Shuffle, cut). Frasquita and Mercedes find bright futures awaiting them, but for Carmen the cards reveal only death. In a darkly brooding aria, En vain pour eviter (In vain to evade), Carmen reflects that it is useless to resist fate, for the cards never lie.
Casting aside her gloomy thoughts, Carmen joins her smuggler companions in devising a plot to evade the military guards stationed in the mountains. In a spirited chorus, they assert that the enemy guards pose no threat, for Carmen, Frasquita, and Mercedes are experts in the art of "distraction." Thus determined, they all depart, leaving behind an unhappy Jose to guard the stolen goods.
Micaela moves through the mountain pass in search of Jose. The gentle girl is frightened to find herself in the deserted camp, and in her dramatic aria, ]e dis que rien ne m'epouvante (I tell myself that nothing frightens me), she expresses her fears and tries to bolster her courage. At the sudden sound of a gunshot, she hides.
Jose, who fired the shot, rushes in to challenge an intruder. The stranger turns out to be Escamillo, who explains that he is looking for Carmen; he knows that she has tired of her current lover. Josh's violent reaction makes it clear to the bullfighter that he is standing
face to face with that very man. Though Escamillo finds the situation amusing, Jose challenges him to a fight. The rivals draw their knives and attack one another. They are interrupted by the return of Carmen, who responds with enthusiasm to Escamillo's flirtation. As he leaves, the toreador assures Jose that he is ready to fight him again at any time, and invites the band of smugglers to his next bullfight in Seville.
Don Jose's angry reproaches have no effect on Carmen. Remendado discovers Micaela and drags her out of hiding. The girl explains that she came to persuade Jose to return with her to their little village. Carmen encourages him to go, asserting that the smuggler's life never suited him. Infuriated, he refuses to leave, for he is certain that the gypsy has taken another lover. When Micaela reveals that his mother is dying, however, Jose has no choice but to return home. As he departs, he assures Carmen that she has not seen the last of him. He is not to have the final word, though, as from the distance
drifts the voice of Escamillo, repeating the chorus of the Toreador Song: "Toreador, l'amour t'attend!" (Toreador, love awaits you!).
Act IV: A square in front of the arena in Seville, one month later
A crowd is gathered outside the arena in anxious anticipation of the start of the bullfight. Escamillo enters with Carmen at his side and receives a thunderous greeting. In a brief duet,
Reveka Mavrovitis (Carmen), and Dennis McNeil (Don ]ose)
Si tu m'aimes, Carmen (If you love me, Carmen), he and Carmen exchange passionate vows of love and make arrangements to meet after the fight. As the toreador exits into the arena with his entourage, Frasquita and Mercedes approach Carmen to warn her that Don Jose is somewhere in the vicinity. The gypsy tells her friends that she is not afraid of him or any man. Fearing for Carmen's safety, Mercedes and Frasquita implore her to be careful, then reluctantly leave her alone as they enter the arena.
Don Jose suddenly appears, looking disheveled. Carmen defiantly insists that he does not frighten her, but Jose protests that he has no wish to harm her; he wants only to rekindle their lost love. The gypsy declares that she would rather die than return to him, for she loves another. Shouts and cheers at Escamillo's feats ring out from the bullring, fanning the flames of Jose's jealous anger. Carmen tries to enter the bullring to join her lover, but Jose refuses to let her pass. Carmen insists that she loves Escamillo, and as proof, she defiantly removes the ring Jose gave her and throws it at him.
She tries once again to push past him, but Jose is desperate. In a fit of rage, he stabs her, and Carmen falls to the ground, lifeless. As people begin to exit the arena, Jose cries out, "You can arrest me I have killed her. O, my beloved Carmen." The curtain descends as Jose, lost in despair, sobs over the body of the faithless gypsy.
About The Artists
As its name implies, the New York City Opera National Company takes top-quality opera performances to communities throughout the country, at the same time providing talented young artists with valu?able performing experience. This season, the company makes its eighth visit to Ann Arbor, after Rigoletto (1985), Madama But?terfly (1987), The Barber of Seville (1988), La Traviata (1989), La Boheme (1990), The Marriage of Figaro (1991), and Tosca (1992).
Reveka Mavrovitis (Carmen) has pre?viously appeared as Carmen with Boise Opera Theater and on a 1991 tour of Japan with the San Francisco Opera Center. As a member of San Francisco Opera for the past two seasons, she appeared in produc?tions of Elektra, War and Peace, and Boris Godunov. Among her numerous roles are Cherubino in Le hlozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Cos i fan tutte, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Valencienne in The Merry Widow. Also at home on the concert stage, the mezzo-soprano has sung with the Sacra?mento Symphony, San Francisco Sym?phony Pops, Santa Barbara Choral Society, and the Ventura Symphony.
Lori Brown Mirabal (Carmen) began her performing career in television and musical theater in her native Tennessee before switching her concentration to opera in the early 1980s. The mezzo-soprano made her professional operatic debut as
Giovanna in Rigoletto with Opera Memphis in 1982, and gained further operatic expe?rience throughout the South by performing such roles as Mercedes in Carmen, Dorabella in Cosifan tutte, Siebel in Faust, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. She then went on to attend the Manhattan School of Music and appeared with Bronx Opera as Rose in Smetena's The Secret and in the title role of La Cenerentola, and with L'Opera Francais de New York as the Goddess Diana in Iphigenie en Aulide.
Making her American debut in this production, mezzo-soprano Ulrike Pichler-Steffen has performed extensively in her native Austria. With the Theater im Pal?ais, she sang Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus,
Lori Btouti Mi'ro&af (Carmen)
Marzellina in Die Hochzeit des Figaro, the Second Lady in Die Zauberflote, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. With the Opernhaus Graz, she performed the role of the Kinderfanger in Tschitti Tschitti Bang Bang, the Second Spirit in Die Zauberflote and Glascha in Katya Kabanova. Ms. Pichler-Steffen also performed at the 1992 Rossini Festival in Bologna, Italy, and has per?formed concert engagements in Austria, Italy, Hungary, Germany, and Yugoslavia. Tenor Dennis McNeil (Don Jose) sang the role of Don Jose on the Western Opera Theater 1989-90 national tour of Carmen. In 1990, he made his San Fran?cisco Opera debut as Eisenstein in family performances of Die Fledermaus, followed by the Sixth Diener in Capriccio. This past season, he made his San Diego Opera debut as Remendado in Carmen, and returned to San Francisco Opera for Gastone in La Traviata. Other roles to his credit include
Jenik in The Bartered Bride, Prince Paul in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, Sandor Barinkay in The Gypsy Baron, Camille de Rosillon in The Merry Widow and Paquillo in he Perichole. A fifth generation Califor-nian, Mr. McNeil is a graduate of the American Center for Musical Theater Training.
Tenor Brad Cresswell (Don Jose) is a recent graduate of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, which is affiliated with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. While there, he performed in Prokofiev's The
Gambler, Bellini's Z Puritani, and appeared on the "Great Performances" telecast of Barber's Antony and Cleopatra. Mr. Cresswell has also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera and recently recorded Strauss's Elektra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. Last summer, Mr. Cresswell performed the leading tenor role in the American premiere of Judith Weir's The Vanishing Bridegroom at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
As an apprentice in the Merola pro?gram at San Francisco Opera, Diane Alex?ander (Micaela) performed the roles of Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Violetta in La Traviata and Esmeralda in Smetana's The Bartered Bride. She then went on to appear as Violetta in Western Opera Theater's 1991-92 national tour of La Traviata. The soprano has been a soloist with several other companies, including the Opera Company of Boston, The Joffrey Ballet, Jubilate Chorale and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Most recently the Rhode Island native made her debut with the Opera Laboratory Theatre Company in Boston, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and joined Marin Opera Company as Gretel in Humperdinck's Han?sel and Gretel.
Debuting with the New York City Opera National Company this season, An?gela Randell (Micaela) has previously per?formed the role of Micaela for Western Opera Theater. She also performed the roles of Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica and the Fourth Maid in Elektra for the San Francisco Opera. Other recent credits in?clude Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Papagena in Die Zauberflote, and Corinna in II Viaggio a Reims at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Enrichetta in Puritani for Washington Concert Opera and Margue?rite in Faust at the Mercury Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand. The soprano holds a Bachelor's degree from Northwest?ern University and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School.
Michigan native Edward Huls (Es-camillo) made his New York City Opera house debut this season as Alfio in Cavalle-ria Rusticana and Escamillo in Carmen and has previously performed with the NYCO National Company as Germont on the
Ulrike Pichler-Steffen (Carmen)
1989 tour of La Traviata. Trained at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the baritone has been heard there as Zurga in The Pearl Fishers, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. Recent en?gagements have included Escamillo with Opera Delaware, Falke in Die Fledermaus at the Fort Edward Summer Theater, Valentin in Faust and Silvio in Pagliacci with National Grand Opera, Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Pittsburgh Opera Theater, and the title role of Rigoletto in Cincinnati and Texas. Mr. Huls's future schedule includes an appearance at Cleve?land Opera as Germont.
Mark Moliterno (Escamillo) recently assayed this role with Western Opera The?ater and debuted with San Francisco Opera in productions of Khovanshchina and Ca-priccio. A veteran of previous National Company tours of La Traviata and II Barbiere di Siviglia, the baritone has since performed a variety of roles throughout the United States and Canada, including ap?pearances as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York, Figaro in II Barbiere di Sivigha with the Tri-County Regional Opera, and the title role in Falstaff at the Banff Festival of the Arts. Mr. Moliterno received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and fur?thered his studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Study in Snape, England.
Music Director Joseph Colaneri (Con?ductor) returns to the National Company this season after leading last year's tour of
Dennis McNeil (Don Jose), and Edward Huls (EscamilJo)
Tosca. The maestro has served as New York City Opera's chorus master since 1983 and made his house debut as a conductor during the 1987-88 season leading South Pacific. He has since conducted performances there of La Traviata, The New Moon, The Pajama Game, Carmen, La Boheme and, most re?cently, Rigoletto. As chorus master, Mae?stro Colaneri has overseen choral preparations for two New York City Opera recordings, Satyagraha and Candide, and received praise for his choral preparation of New York City Opera's critically acclaimed production of Schoenberg's Moses und Aron in 1990. The New Jersey native currently teaches the Saturday Opera Seminar at New York University's School of Continu?ing Education.
Steven Mosteller (Conductor), who made his New York City Opera National Company debut last year conducting per?formances of Tosca, has been an assistant conductor with the New York City Opera for six seasons. Previously, he was the music director of the Minikin Chamber Opera, which performed for ten years in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Wilmington, Delaware, native, a graduate of the Uni?versity of Delaware and Northwestern Uni?versity, regularly performs in the New York area as a recitalist and conductor.
Last year's director of the Tosca tour, Dona D. Vaughn (Stage Director), returns to the National Company for this produc?tion of Carmen, an opera she has previously directed at Pennsylvania Opera Theater and Brooklyn College Opera Theater. Her additional credits include A Little Night Music for Augusta Opera, Madama Butterfly for the Florida Arts Festival, The Three Penny Opera for the University of Michi?gan, Trouble in Tahiti for Anchorage Opera, La Cantanna and Medea for the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Transformations and Giulio Cesare for Brooklyn College Opera Theater. An honor graduate of Brevard College, Ms. Vaughn received a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan College and an M.A. in Direct?ing from Hunter College. Ms. Vaughn is a noted director and teacher on the univer?sity circuit and has served as Artist-in-Res-idence at the State University of New York for three years.
New York City Opera National Company Orchestra
Rena Isbin, Concertmaster
Dale Chao, Assistant Concertmaster
Kathleen Dillon, Principal Second
Allegra Cook, Principal Roxanne Adams David Lennon
Anik Oulianine, Principal Arthur J. Fiacco Peter Howard
Peter Ader, Principal
Piccolo Linda Ganus
English Horn Linda Kaplan
Cris Inguanti, Principal
Bassoon Stephen Wisner
John Aubrey, Principal
Kenneth De Carlo, Principal
Trombone Jeffrey Caswell
Timpani James Thoma
Percussion Steven Machamer
New York City Opera National Company Administrative Staff
Nancy Kelly, Administrative Director Joseph Colaneri, Music Director Peter Hauser, Production Manager Teresa Romito, Director of Publicity Daniel Sher, Tour Manager
New York City Opera National Company Production Staff Laura Hassell, Production Stage Manager Steven Mosteller, Assistant Conductor James McWilliams, Head Carpenter Andrew Sather, Head Electrician Susan Goulet, Head of Properties Dean Nichols, Wardrobe Supervisor David Brintzenhofe, WigMakeup
Michele McCoy, Assistant Stage Manager Peter Robertson, Assistant Carpenter Randall Zaibek, Assistant Electrician Angel L. Betancourt, Assistant
William A. Kelly, Assistant Set Designer Rita Ann Kolger, Assistant Lighting
Designer John Beeson, Rehearsal Coach
Accompanist Thomas Grubb, Diction Coach
Explore "The Art of Carmen's World" February 13 May 1, 1993 at The University of Michigan Museum of Art
The Museum exhibit features paintings in the permanent colleciton galleries and a
small but choice display of prints focusing on Spanish and French art in the 19th
and 20th centuries.
Museum of Art, Corner of S. State and S. University
Tuesday Saturday 10-5, Sundy 1-5, 764-0395 Free Admission