Epsom Light Opera Company

award winning theatre at the Epsom Playhouse

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2009 Carmen

Music by Georges Bizet adapated and arranged by Bobbie Field
Book and Lyrics by David Badger

Original Book and Lyrics by Henery Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy
Based on the novel by Prosper Merivef

At the Epsom Playhouse
Spring 2009

Director - Nic Ash
Music Director - David Edwards
Choreographer - Dawn

Cast List

Carmen - Amaia Arregui
Don José - Yuri Sabatini
Micaela - Emma Jones
Escamillo - Chris Evans
Mercedes - Sarah Higginbotham
Frasquita - Whitney Jackson
Morales - Richard Qureshi
Zuniga - Lee Power
Dancairo - Dil Patel
Remandado - Chris Watkins
Lillias Pastia - Lewis Wilmott
Guide - Maurice Pagella

Chorus of Townspeople, Soldiers, Cigarette Girls, Gypsies and Smugglers

Helen Ash, Geraldine Birch, Heather Congdon, Dave Don, Christine Evans, Penny Hanham, Chris haslett, john Hayman-Joyce, Charlie Hoddell, Janat Holah, Pam Hollingworth, Harry Hollingworth, Hattie Knight, Maurice Pagella, Kate Palmer, Julie Parker, Lisa Scott, Linda Sutch, Ziggy Szafranski, Rick Thomsett, Jan Wallis, Louise Watkins, Harry Wilkinson, Les Woodcock, Michael Zeffman, Sandra Zeffman

Dancers

Charlie Dyer, Caron Ireland, Kirstie Murray, Helen Parker, Krysza Szafranski

Chorus of Children

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Evening

Olivia Bircher, Abigail Bruce, Sasha Bruce, Anne-Marie Donahue, Grace Donahue, Nicola Howlett, Pascale Mama, Ben Robinson, Samuel Strijdom, Anna von Preyss

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Matinee

Millie Arkhurst, Mariella Campion, Emily Elstub, Bethan Moncur, Toran Power, Sophie Roberts, Alex Shortland, Daniel Tarrant, Lydia Walker, Sam Wilson

Show photos - click here

Review by Tony Flook - Surrey Mirror

The Epsom Light Opera Company showed its versatility by staging this challenging show, which in places is closer to opera than to the lighter works they usually perform.

The company also proved it has the talent within its ranks to take on key parts and the ability to attract singers from outside, where necessary.

As a result, almost all, parts were cast with performers capable of bringing out the essence of this tragic Spanish set tale of passion and jealousy.

Spanish born Amaia Arregui, in the title role, dominated the show in the same way that her character dominates the story. Her classically trained voice sounded totally at ease with the score's demands - as in her telling Seguidilla solo and when she led the chorus in the famous Habanera. Her Mediterranean appearance, coupled with a magnetic stage presence epitomised Carmen's sometimes sultry, sometimes vivacious personality.

She was strongly partnered by Yuri Sabatini, another performer with professional experience, as Don Jose who wins then loses Carmen's affection. His singing was particularly notable for perfect voice control, never better than in The Flower.

Chris Evans, Escamillo, projected his showcase Toreador song with the confidence expected of this self-opinionated bullfighter.

Emma Jones, as Micaela, tended to sing at the top of her soprano range, which sometimes led to an imbalance in her duets.

There was perfect interaction between Sarah Higginbotham (Mercedes) and Whitney Jackson (Frasquita) in their Gipsy Air.

Dillip Patel and Chris Watkins, the smugglers Dancairo and Remandado, made their way through intriguingly smoke-laden hills to the strains of Risky Our Game.

Choreographer Dawn and the five featured dancers brought Flamenco fire to the Entr'Acte.

Ensemble singing, peerless throughout, made a particular impact in Come Follow Us and the second act's March and Chorus.

Over-emphasis on deep red lighting in some scenes, coupled with shaded corners downstage, tended to create a slightly unreal appearance - rather than the heat of southern Spain which was no doubt intended.

Although David Edwards' orchestra always supported and never dominated the on-stage performers, this did lead to the pace dropping at times and to some numbers sounding slightly subdued.


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