BEYOND CARMEN

2019/20 SEASON

Friday, November 15 | 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 16 | 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 17 | 2 pm
(Sold out!)

Performances in The Black Box Theater at the OperaDelaware Studios (4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington, DE)

TICKETS: $40, general admission

BOX OFFICE: 302-442-7807

ABOUT

An homage to Bizet's Carmen (OD's first and most frequently presented opera), mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock weaves legends of the Old World into a 21st-century musical tapestry that spans generations and genres—from classical to tango, medieval to modern. Featuring guitarist Andrés Vadin.

 
Carmen. There is no more iconic woman in Operatic history. She is so singled out that her image has become mainstream and is synonymous with the Femme Fatale. There is no image, no legend, no creature, more riddled with weaponized femininity then my beloved, Carmencita. Carmen’s origin story is rich—it has been written that the author of the original novella, Prosper Mérimée, derived his inspiration for this illusory gypsy from a real-life Sephardic Jew. Though Jews were exotic at the time, Gypsies had a more solid reputation for nefariousness and made a more daring choice for his Parisian newspaper-reading audience. With Beyond Carmen we will explore her Sephardic roots, singing in Ladino or “Judeo Spanish”, similar to ancient Castilian Spanish. We will play with the rhythms, textures, and accents of the marginalized people of the diaspora, and most of all we will sing and cry out for the misunderstood experience of being fiercely female in a time that saw a woman’s strength as something dangerous, dark, and destined for annihilation.
AUDREY BABCOCK
 

LISTEN


BIOGRAPHIES

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Audrey Babcock is an award-winning mezzo-soprano who is quickly gaining notoriety for her commanding, powerful performances as Carmen and her dark, hypnotic portrayals of Maddalena in Rigoletto. As Carmen, Ms. Babcock made her French debut with the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer and has performed the role with OperaDelaware (2015), Florentine Opera, Nashville Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, San Antonio Opera, Knoxville Opera, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, and Utah Festival Opera. The Salt Lake Tribune raved: “Audrey Babcock's performance as Carmen was a spellbinding tour de force... from the moment she took the stage her self-assured characterization was mesmerizing... Babcock's caramel-hued mezzo was a pleasure… her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthy allure.” 

Widely recognized as a choice singer for new works, Ms. Babcock has premiered several new operas including Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin (NY Premiere - Dicapo Opera), With Blood, With Ink (World Premiere - Fort Worth Opera), La Reina (American Lyric Theater, NY and Prototype Festival), The Poe Project (American Lyric Theater), and appeared as Mother in Winter’s Tale with Beth Morrison’s Prototype Festival in NYC in 2015. The 2016-2017 season included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (New Orleans Opera), Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha (Utah Opera), Maddalena in Rigoletto (Palm Beach Opera), Carmen (Dayton Opera & Fort Worth Opera), and Mrs. Mister in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock (Opera Saratoga). The 2017-2018 season includes Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Symphony, the Secretary in The Consul with Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, the title role in Maria de Buenos Aires with San Diego Opera, Carmen with Mill City Summer Opera, Baba/Madame Flora in the Medium, as well as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with Victory Hall Opera.

Recording under the name Aviva, Ms. Babcock has released an album of Ladino pieces called Songs for Carmen, a collection of works sung in Ladino and Arabic, inspired by the character Carmen.

 

 
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Andrés Vadin is an award-winning guitarist and composer whose talent spans genres while highlighting the flamenco guitar as a universal instrument with no boundaries—a breathtaking fusion of traditional and contemporary interpretations, often infused with Cuban, Arabic, and jazz influences.

A graduate of the Guillermo Tomás and Amadeo Roldán Conservatory of Music in Habana, Cuba, Vadin is a sought-after touring and session musician who has performed with renowned flamenco artists including José Antonio Rodríguez, María Juncal, and Antonio Carmona and played in festivals including WOMAD, Glastonbury, Musicport World Music Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Music Festival. His session work includes movie soundtracks for Whale of the Tale and Bel Canto, and he collaborated on two Latin Grammy-nominated albums: Cuba le canta a Serrat (2005) with Aceituna sin Hueso and Bajo Mundo (2017) with Oskar Cartaya.

One of Vadin's greatest passions is teaching. He regularly collaborates with Barrio Music, an organization that provides music education to children throughout Los Angeles.



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This organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.