"Carmen ❤ Jazz" returns as a vast open air show

This experimental composition combines iconic arias and duets from Bizet’s “Carmen” with the free flowing musicality of Estonian Dream Big Band. "Carmen Loves Jazz" had its first night last summer at Saaremaa Opera Days and will return for only one performance at the massive open air stage of Viljandi Song Square on June 2nd, 2018.

Carmen Loves Jazz

Music - Siim Aimla / Georges Bizet
Choreographer - Marina Kesler
Set and Costumes - Madis Nurms
Lighting designer - Margus Vaigur
Chorus director - Pille Kährik

Carmen - Sofia Rubina
Jose - Rene Soom
Escamillo - Kristjan Kasearu
Dancers - Marika Muiste, Jevgeni Grib, Anatoli Arhangelski

Estonian Dream Big Band, Mixed Chorus of Tartu University Viljandi Culture Academy  

A jazzy reworking of "Carmen" is cheekier than  its operatic predecessor - charged with urban undertones and explicitly sexual. Surely it was not in vain that the saxophone was a prohibited instrument in the frigid Soviet Union during the sixties.

The Big Band instrumentation with its juicy timbres and lush improvisation brings out new nuances in Mérimée’s story. In this rendition Carmen's cynical attitude rises to limelight: "If a smile will help me to prevail, what of it? - I'll smile!" (Bizet's "Carmen" Act III). A view in which the sexual appeal can be easily put to use in your favor. But the question remains: how to do it so skillfully that you don’t end up with a knife between your ribs? Whether it be in the direct or metaphorical sense... 

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