1 In Culture Corner/ Life in London

London Events: A Night of Rogue Opera – Carmen

It’s been a long time since Jorge wrote a guest post for me, but when an opportunity came up to go see Rogue Opera’s performance of Carmen at Tara Theatre in Earlsfield, I couldn’t resist. He’s always begging me to go see an opera because he just loves it, but truthfully, while I appreciate it as an art, it’s not my thing. He was thrilled, of course, and rounded up a colleague to go along. Below is his take on the show!

Photo: To the devil with your jealousy – Morales, Carmen, Jose, Andre Andrade, Bronwen Stephens, Alex Pidgen by Cristina Schek

Photo: Morales, Jose, Andre Andrade, Alex Pidgen by Cristina Schek

Bizet’s Carmen is one of those must-see operas, so I was very excited to go to Rogue Opera’s performance.

They say that you either love or hate opera, which is the case of my wife and me. I can’t have enough of it whilst she can’t stand it. But of course, you have to attend a live performance to be able to appreciate and judge for yourself. Rogue Opera is certainly perfect if you are a total novice.

I had read a bit about this production, but didn’t really know what to expect. All my previous experiences have been of bigger and fully staged operas.

Photo: Act 1 – Carmen, Jose, Bronwen Stephens, Alex Pidgen by Cristina Schek

Photo: Act 1 – Carmen, Bronwen by Cristina Schek

This is a real treat that you will certainly appreciate. The cast of six are extremely talented and the intimate performance is quite a unique experience. The audience gets to focus in the singing and the music, as there are very little distractions.

You need great talent to perform Carmen, but with some of them playing various characters and barely any rest, they have to be really, really good.

Erika Mädi Jones plays Micaëla and Frasquita and captures the audience with her voice and great performance.

Photo: An intimate performance, taken by Jorge

Photo: Quintette by Cristina Schek

I particularly enjoyed being able to appreciate the facial expressions while the cast was reaching those unbelievable notes.

The musical director and pianist, Varia Doletskaya plays the piano throughout the four acts beautifully.

Treat yourself to a very unique experience. There are more performances coming!

Photo: Escamillo, Themba Mvula by Cristina Schek

A bit about Rogue Opera
Rogue Opera was brought to life by Bronwen Stephens (mezzo-soprano, marketer, director) and Kevin Harding (accountant, technical director, creative producer) in late 2017, debuting with Bizet’s Carmen in 2018 for six singers and piano.( Read more about the cast.)

Rogue Opera’s mission is to present intimate versions of well known operas, creating incredible pieces of theatre – which just happen to include amazing music and singing – to engage new audiences and to delight the connoisseurs. Their compact productions can be staged anywhere with the current run including performances in a 15th century barn in Kent for an audience of 90, in a Synagogue Hall in North London and at a pop-up pub in a riverside cellar conversion in The Malverns. Further dates and venues will be added to their Autumn tour. 

Feature image: Carmen, Escamillo, Bronwen Stephens, Themba Mvula by Cristina Schek

Note: This post has been sponsored by the lovely folks at Rogue Opera who invited Jorge to review the performance of Carmen. All opinions, in this case, are Jorge’s! Photos are courtesy of Rogue Opera apart from the one where Jorge is credited.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Candyce
    May 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve never been to an opera and have never truly listened to discover whether I like it or not but this sounds so interesting that if I were in London I’d definitely check it out. Thanks, Steph and Jorge!

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