Bizet's timeless melodies sustain the dramatic development of the fated love relation between Don José and Carmen, tainted by jealousy and treason.
Don José, a brigadier stationed in the Spanish town of Seville, falls under the spell of a local working girl, the gypsy Carmen. Under her spell, he not only abandons his love for his fiancee Micaëla, but also his honour as a soldier in order to follow her and live the life of a smuggler. Soon tired of his love, Carmen succumbs to the charms of bull fighter Escamillo. The two ill fated lovers meet for a reckoning outside of the arena where passion sets the stage for their final encounter.
Opéra Comique in four acts inspired by Prosper Mérimée's novella, the opera's premiere on the 3rd March 1875 at Opéra Comique in Paris was met with a disastrous reception by the public.
Ultimately though, Bizet's music and the passionate dramatic development of the plot made Carmen one of the best-loved operas of all times.
Baritone Vincent Ranallo's singing career centers mainly around the concert stage and creation of contemporary works, as numerous contemporary composers, from Québec as well as from Europe, have been inspired by his voice.
Hailed for the beauty and depth of expression of his voice, as well as for the infectious sentiment inherent to his interpretation, he has been invited to perform with a steadily growing number of ensembles, at festivals in North-America and in Europe. In 2017, he was invited to create the barytone solo in Éric Champagne's Te Deum with the New England Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York.
His artistic approach is inspired by his experience in theater and dance, as he is trained in classical ballet by the Grand Ballets Canadiens and has had occasions to work with choreographers like Marie-José Cartier and Estelle Clareton.
His latest collaborations include a first recording of the sacred works by Québec composer Auguste Descarries, released by Espace XXI, as well as a monograph of Martin Lachance's music.
Belgium native Pascale Verstrepen started studying the piano with Ho Thi The Van in 1998. After obtaining her BA at the University of Québec in 2001, in the class of Pierre Jasmin, she continues in the master's program at Université de Montréal under Paul Stewart. She obtained for two consecutive years (2000/2001) the stipend for excellency Nicole-Junca.
Pascale started to play in the orchestra led by her father Gène Capri, les Cordes de Velours, as early as age 14, in her second year of playing the piano. Today she still works mainly as a collaborative pianist for singers and instrumentists.
Additionally to her work as an accompanist at the Rudolf Steiner School of Montreal, where she teaches music and choir singing in the sector for continuous studies, Pascale also conducts the music program at the Coeur-Immaculé-de-Marie parish and directs two choirs, Polumnia and Equi-Vox Montreal.
Canadian director François Racine has led a career as opera director and teacher for many years.
Named «Artist of the year 2008-09» by Seatle Opera, Mr. Racine received accolades for Cosi fan tutte with Pacific Opera Victoria and for his innovative interpretation of Dido and Aeneas in Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 2010.
While a member of the Canadian Opera Company ùensemble, Mr. Racine assisted Robert Lepage on his productions of Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle, and later supervised and restaged performances at Edinburg, Hong Kong and Melbourne Festivals and later in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Cincinnati, Montreal, Quebec and Seattle.
François Racine has directed opera productions for Opéra de Montréal, the Festival Opéra de Québec, Seattle Opera, The Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opéra de Québec, La Jeune compagnie Opéra in La Chaux de Fonds, Swirzerland, Pacific Opera Victoria, Cincinnati Opera, the Edmonton Opera Association and the Vancouver Opera Festival.
As Opera Acting guest professor at l’Université de Montréal, François directed many operas and is now teaching the specialized acting class for singers.
Zita Bombardier, a 26 year old Mezzo-Soprano born in Gatineau, Outaouais, displays in addition to her powerful yet elegant Mezzo-Soprano voice, a noteworthy presence on stage.
Her upcoming engagements in 2018 include Maureen in a production of Rent by As de Ch&oeligur and Mary Magdalen in Jesus Christ Superstar, presented by the Quebec Art Company.
Zita's repertoire extends from Saint-Saëns to Bernstein, from Mozart to Menotti, including a sound expertise in Musical Theatre.
Recently, Zita held the role of Carmen in Bizet's Carmen in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival 2017, Cendrillon in Massenet's Cendrillon with L'Ensemble de Jeu Scénique at Université de Laval, as well as the roles of la Mère, la Tasse Chinoise and Chiffre in L'Enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel and Marchande de journaux in Poulenc's Mamelles de Tirésias with Atelier Lyrique at University of Laval.
In 2016 and 2017, she sang the solo parts in Rossini's La Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saëns' Messe op. 4, as well as doing numerous recitals in Montréal and in the larger Québec region.
Canadian tenor Thomas Macleay has been hailed as a revelation for his beautiful sound, gorgeous phrasing and musical instinct.
His notable performances include Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu) and Tosca (Cavaradossi) with the Italian Week festival, Faust with Festival de Musique de Saint Eustache and Rodolfo in la Bohème with Sinfonia. He sang Pylade in Iphigénie en Tauride and the title role in Acis and Galatea with Toronto's Opera Atelier. His many roles with l'Opéra de Montréal include Alfred in J. Strauss' La Chauve Souris.
Thomas was Charlie in Pacific Opera Victoria's world premier of Mary's Wedding (CBC broadcast), and he created the role of Algernon in Earnest with Toronto Operetta Theatre. Next, he will play Abel in L'hypothèse Caïn by Michel Gonneville.
Thomas has also performed with the Vancouver Opera, l'Opéra de Marseille, l'Opéra de Québec, Edmonton Opera, Opera Bhutan, Opera El Paso, the Victoria Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre Sinfonia, and Alberta Ballet.
Thomas Macleay studied at l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, the CNIPAL in Marseille, McGill University, the University of Alberta, the Banff Centre, and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute. In 2014 Thomas was invited to Bishops University to perform and teach as an Artist in Residence