Carmen

  • Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7 pm
  • Century II Concert Hall

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In addition to Season Subscriptions, Early Bird Single Tickets (saving 10% off regular price) will be available from September 10th through October 8th. Beginning October 8th, all tickets will be full price.

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Season Subscriptions are available for purchase from August 20th through October 27th. Productions available for Season Subscriptions are Flamenco Pasión; Chris Mann: Home for Christmas, Part 2; Swan Lake; Carmen; and Noah’s Flood. Early subscribers get the best seats for WGO’s 2018-19 Season.

By Georges Bizet

A New WGO Production

For many, “Carmen” is the masterpiece that truly defines Opera – full of unforgettable music and high drama. “Carmen” tells the story of a captivating, intoxicating woman and her jealous lover who just won’t take no for an answer.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel stars in the title role as the seductive gypsy. Critics have already taken notice, praising“potent star performances” and “rich, powerhouse voice.” Ms. Heltzel has previously appeared with the WGO as Maddalena in Rigoletto and as Princess Eboli in Don Carlo. Tenor Michael Wade Lee stars as Don José, Carmen’s obsessive lover. He returns to the WGO for the first time since starring in the title role of WGO’s 2011 Il Trovatore. Maestro Martin Mazik returns to the WGO to conduct this masterful work.

 

Synopsis

  • ACT I

    Soldiers keep watch over a busy square in Seville. A shy country girl, Micaëla, arrives and asks the officer, Morales, about Don José. Morales tells her José should be arriving soon and Micaëla quickly leaves. When José arrives with the captain, Zuniga, Morales mentions a girl was looking for him. José explains that Micaëla was his childhood sweetheart back home. The men are soon distracted by the women working at the nearby cigarette factory, who saunter into the square on a break. Among the women, most of the attention is drawn to Carmen, who flirts with her many admirers. Carmen soon notices the only man ignoring her – Don José – and throws a flower to him before returning to work with the girls. Micaëla returns to deliver a letter from José’s mother, but runs away in embarrassment when the letter urges José to marry Micaëla and come home. José’s thoughts are interrupted by a disturbance in the factory, and Zuniga sends him to investigate. Carmen has fought with and injured another woman. José is left guarding Carmen while Zuniga goes to write the arrest orders. Carmen seizes her opportunity and promises to meet José for a private rendezvous if he helps her escape. Entranced, he agrees.

  • ACT II

    Carmen dances and sings gypsy songs at an inn with her friends. Zuniga, while unsuccessfully attempting to seduce Carmen, mentions that José has just finished serving his sentence for helping her escape and was released earlier that day. The famed bullfighter Escamillo passes by with a celebratory crowd and flirts briefly with Carmen, who refuses him for now. As the inn closes for the evening, more gypsies arrive to plan a smuggling operation. They are interrupted by the arrival of Don José and soon the other gypsies leave Carmen alone with him. Carmen begins to sing and dance for José, but he stops her as he hears the bugles signaling that he must return to the barracks. Carmen is furious, but José reveals that he has kept the flower she threw to him all this time. Zuniga returns, hoping to find Carmen alone and more willing this time. In a jealous rage, José attacks his captain, leaving him no choice but to desert and join the smugglers.

  • ACT III

    Months later, in the smuggler’s mountain camp, Carmen has tired of Don José. She and her friends read their futures in tarot cards, but Carmen’s cards continually foretell death. Tiring of the pastime, Carmen and the smugglers leave camp. Micaëla finds her way to the now-deserted camp, but hides when Escamillo arrives searching for Carmen. Upon discovering him, José draws a knife and attacks Escamillo. The men fight until Carmen returns and stops them. She sends Escamillo away, and soon Micaëla is discovered. She tells José his mother is dying and begs him to come home with her. José agrees, but vows to return for Carmen.

  • ACT IV

    The square in Seville is crowded with people heading to a bullfight. Escamillo enters with Carmen, but her friends warn her that José is in the crowd. Unfazed, Carmen stays behind to meet him. Once she is alone, José emerges and asks her to go with him to start a new life. Carmen laughs, and insists it’s all over between them, while José becomes more desperate. Eventually Carmen admits she loves Escamillo. Losing control of himself, José murders Carmen while the distant crowd in the arena cheers at Escamillo’s triumph.

The Cast

Creative Team

Stage DirectorConductor
Shayna LeahyMartin Mazik

 

CARMEN, a gypsy from Seville (mezzo)Sarah Heltzel
DON JOSE, a corporal from Navarro (tenor)Michael Wade Lee
ESCAMILLO, a toreador (baritone)Michael Nansel
MICAELA, a girl from Navarro (soprano)Yunnie Park
ZUNIGA, a lieutenant of Dragoons (bass)Andrew Hernandez *
MORALES, a soldier (baritone)Charles Turley *
FRASQUITA, Carmen’s friend (soprano)Andra Erbar *
LE DANCAIRE, a smuggler (baritone)Dustin Peterson
LE REMENDADO, a smuggler (tenor)Patrick Greene *
Chorus: Dragoons, Cigarette Girls, Gypsies, Smugglers, Toreadors, Street Urchins, and Vendors
Flamenco Dancers
* WGO Resident Artist             † WGO Young Artist
(Production and Artists subject to change)

What to Expect

We’ll Help You Plan Your Opera Visit

Whether this is your first visit to Wichita Grand Opera or you’re a regular patron, we have all the information you need to plan your evening, from what to wear and where to eat, to what seat to choose and where to park.

Before the Opera

Where to Stay

If you are visiting Wichita from out of town or want to make a special evening of it, we suggest staying at one of these recommended hotels.

Ambassador Hotel

Hotel at Waterwalk

Hotel at Old Town

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Wichita Downtown

Wichita Inn North

DoubleTree by Hilton

Red Roof Inn Wichita Airport

Clarion Inn Wichita Airport

Wichita Marriott

Hawthorn Suites

Where to Eat

Many production times allow for a lovely dinner prior to your opera visit. We are confident you will enjoy a delicious meal at any of these recommended restaurants.

Cafe Bel Ami

AVI Seabar & Chophouse

Hana Cafe

Harvest Kitchen and Bar at the Hyatt Regency

Lotus Leaf Cafe & Creperie

Old-Town Sushi Bar By Wasabi

Rain Café and Lounge

River City Brewery

Sabor Latin Bar & Grill

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse at the Ambassador Hotel

What to Wear

Business elegant is the norm for opera, such as a nice suit and tie for gentlemen and a nice dress or pant suit for ladies, but anything goes, from jeans to your favorite evening gown!

You’ll see more formal attire at night performances; our Sunday matinees tend to be a bit more casual. However, the rule of thumb is simple: Dress for the experience you want to have. If it makes you feel like a million bucks, wear it; after all, for some people, part of the fun is dressing up!

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Your Arrival to the Opera

Timing

Typically, we recommend you arrive 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled curtain time so you can find parking, get your tickets at will-call/the ticket window (sometimes there are lines) and find your seats before the downbeat (the first note of the opera).

    Location

    Our home venue is the Concert Hall within the Century II Performing Arts Center in downtown Wichita. The entrance for the Concert Hall is on the southeast quadrant of the round portion of Century II (to the east is the library and to the south is Expo Hall).

    Century II Performing Arts Center
    225 W. Douglas Ave. Wichita, KS 67202

     

    Get Directions

     

    Parking

    Seating (Including for Disabled Patrons)

    To comply with ADA requirements, the following seats are reserved for our handicapped patrons:

    Concert Hall

    On House Right, Seating is available at:

    • Row M, Seats 123 & 124 (Best seating – $85 per seat)
    • Row S, Seats 124 & 125 (Better seating – $58 per seat)
    • Row KK, Seats 101-106 (Better seating $58 per seat) – Promenade Box
    • Row LL, Seats 107-112 (Good seating, $37 per seat) – Promenade Box

    On House Left, Seating is available at:

    • Row M, Seats 22 & 23 (Best Seating – $85 per seat)
    • Row S, Seats 24 & 25 (Better seating – $58 per seat)
    • Row KK, Seats 1-6 (Better seating – $58 per seat) – Promenade Box
    • Row LL, Seats 7-12 (Good seating, $37 per seat) – Promenade Box

    At the Opera

    Our productions tend to last an average of 2 1/2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission. They can last longer, or have multiple intermissions, but that is not the norm.

    There are always concessions available in the lobby, providing a wide array of snacks and an assortment of wines, spirits, beers, coffee, and soda to satisfy all tastes.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Q: Will I be able to understand what is being sung?

      A: Yes, Wichita Grand Opera provides English translations projected above the stage.

    • Q: What if I arrive late?

      A: Latecomers and those who exit the theatre during the performance will not be admitted until the next appropriate applause break. However, as a courtesy to other patrons and our performers, those who arrive late or exit the theatre will be asked to take a seat in an area that will not interrupt, and then take their ticketed seats at intermission.

    • Q: Does Wichita Grand Opera offer refunds?

      A: Our standing policy is that there are no refunds or exchanges. However, our Subscribers are permitted to exchange or upgrade their tickets.

    • Q: What if I lose my ticket?

      A: Don’t worry about a thing! Simply contact the Box Office at (316) 262-8054 and replacements will be waiting for you at will-call/the ticket window.

    • Q: If I don’t want my tickets mailed out, what are my options?

      A: If you don’t want to receive your tickets by mail, they can be placed in will-call/the ticket window, and then either picked up the evening (or afternoon) of the production, or you can come by our offices at Century II between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday to pick them up.