On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another in Chicago Opera Theater's (COT's) Carmen.
Queer mezzo-soprano Jamie Bartonwho The New York Times dubbed "opera's nose-studded rock star"will make her role debut as the titular femme fatale. And Blythely Oratoniothe tenor alter ego of the legendary Stephanie Blythewill sing his first Don Jose.
"Though Bizet's melodies are familiar to many opera-goers, this will be a very different perspective on an operatic classic," said COT Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya, who will conduct the semi-staged concert performances. "It's also a unique opportunity to hear these inimitable artists exploring brand-new territory. Jamie Barton is long overdue in her debut as Carmen, and I'm thrilled that Stephanie Blythe will be joining us in a new role that fits her truly unusual voice like a glove."
Carmen will be performed in French with English subtitles, without chorus, and will run approximately two hours with one intermission. Carmen will premiere Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m., with one additional performance Saturday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m.
Tickets ($45-$150 each) are available at COT.org/carmen.
NOTE: All attendees will be required to wear a mask covering both nose and mouth while inside the Harris Theater, which will be filled to a maximum of 60% capacity. To enter, you must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by presenting your vaccination card and photo ID or by using the My Bindle app. Alternately, the theater will accept a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the event or a negative rapid antigen test result within six hours of the event. More details on COT's COVID-19 protocols can be found at COT.org/COVID.