August 2, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Composed by Georges Bizet
Conducted by David Angus
Starring Ginger Costa-Jackson, Adam Diegel, Anya Matanovic and Michael Todd Simpson
Alice Busch Opera Theatre
Cooperstown, New York
Jul. 2 to Aug. 23, 2011
Glimmerglass is one of the most prestigious opera festivals in North America. The popular opera this year is Bizet’s Carmen.
Director Anne Bogart is known for her artistic imagination, but she comes up short. Her vision, set in the 1920s, is an arena where the characters circle each other like matadors and bulls. The result is aimless wandering.
The intimate encounters, however, are dynamite. Excellent conductor David Angus ensures that Bizet’s music is fraught with drama.
Young mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson as Carmen has a rich, plumy sound in the making. Tenor Adam Diegel as Don José has a big strong voice and takes a lot of chances in conveying his passion. He is an exciting singer.
Soprano Anya Matanovic displays a beautiful, sweet, even voice as Micaëla. Baritone Michael Todd Simpson’s Escamillo has a lot of vibrato which makes for a foggy sound, but he sings with conviction.
Glimmerglass Festival continues in Cooperstown, New York, until Aug. 23.