Bizet’s Carmen is the 4th production of the Icelandic opera at the new Concert house Harpa in Reykjavik. The first three were The Magic Flute(in Icelandic) and then La Bohéme and Il Trovatore (both in Italian). There are always different opinions on the subject of language in opera productions but more and more opera houses perform their operas only in the original language. The Icelandic Opera follows this thrend and in the last years only Magic Flute and the dialoges of Mozart’s Entführung were in Icelandic.
The opening night is tonight and everyone is getting very excited. There are two casts in the main roles; Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir and Sesselía Kristjánsdóttir share Carmen, Kolbeinn Jón Ketilsson and Garðar Thor Cortes sing Don José, Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir and Þóra Einarsdóttir sing Micaela and Hrólfur Sæmundsson and Kristján Jóhannesson are in the role of Escamillo. I share Zuniga with a good friend and a great college and bass Viðar Gunnarsson. Other roles are sung by Valgerður Guðnadóttir, Snorrí Wíum, Ágúst Ólafsson, Jóhann Kristinsson and my lovely girlfriend Lilja Guðmundsdóttir, who makes her debut at the Icelandic opera in the role of Frasquita. The production team includes stage director Jamie Hayes and conductor Guðmundur Óli Gunnarsson. French or Icelandic; Biset’s Carmen is a masterpiece with a great story and fantastic music. The last production of Carmen in Reykjavik was 30 years ago – It was about time to do it again.