Cast announced for Bizet’s Carmen at the Aurora Opera House in Gozo

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Cast announced for Bizet’s Carmen at the Aurora Opera House in GozoBizet's Carmen returns to the Aurora Opera House next month by popular demand. "The Aurora plans to build on the success of Traviata last year, with this Spanish love story, set to French words and music."

Carmen returns at the Aurora at a special time, as the opera house opens its 40th anniversary season. The 2016-2017 season will commemorate the Aurora Opera House's 40 years (October 1976-2016) and 40 years of opera in Gozo (January 1977-2017, Aurora).

The title role of Carmen will be interpreted by the Bulgarian-born mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva. "The rich, smoky colours and earthy sensuality of her voice were matched by the naturalness of her acting and a fiery temperament at one with this touchstone mezzo role," John Von Rhein writes in the "Chicago Tribune" about the debut of Nadia Krasteva as Carmen on the stage of the Chicago opera.

The audience has also applauded to Nadia Krasteva´s bravura role, on leading opera stages all around the world as the Vienna State Opera, the Arena di Verona, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the National Opera Amsterdam, the "O2 Arena" in Hamburg, the National Opera Riga, the National Opera Sofia, New York's Metropolitan and Milan's La Scala.

She will be accompanied by the Italian world-class tenor Roberto De Biasio, who among other notable appearances is coming from fresh successes at the MetOpera in New York. Escamillo at the Aurora will be none less than La Scala's own Escamillo – Marcin Bronikowski who also starred in London's renowned Royal Opera House of Covent Garden.

The main quartet will be rounded up by an up-and-coming Italian soprano by the name of Giuliana Gianfaldoni, remembered among other roles for her already acclaimed role of Adina with Leo Nucci.

Bizet's Carmen means an extensive cast with a further secondary quartet. Gabriele Ribis who has also performed Dancairo at the Arena di Verona, Eduardo Santamaria as Remendado, Lara Rotili as Mercedes and Madina Karbeli (as Frasquita) who has recently performed as Adina – the leading role – in Elisir d'Amore at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. Gianluca Breda, who has already appeared at the Aurora (2013) and as Zuniga at the Arena di Verona (2016) to great acclaim will be the first lieutenant, while Francesco Baiocchi will accompany him as Morales.

Aurora Opera Chorus – Chorus Master: Colin Attard and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

The approximate running time is about 4 hours 15 minutes, including two full intervals (approximately 30 minutes each) and one shorter break between Acts 3 and 4.

Tickets priced at €80, €70, €60 and €45 are available online here, via email or via the ticket helpline 79045779.

Colin Attard who is celebrating his silver jubilee at the Aurora will lead the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and an international cast that will be announced in due course. Carmen is on at the Aurora on Saturday, the 15th of October, starting at 7.30pm.

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