The University at Albany Department of Music is pleased to present Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre (HHOT) in a condensed piano production of Carmen on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 3pm as part of the 2013-14 Bel Canto Series at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. HHOT opened the series in September with a program of popular Neapolitan arts songs and arias entitled Serenata Italiana.

Thrilling but dangerous, the captivating Carmen is one of the most vivid characters in all of opera. Bizet’s Carmen tells the story of a beguiling gypsy who sets her sights on a naïve but passionate young corporal, tracing a tale of seduction, obsession and deadly betrayal.

Fully costumed and staged, the production features mezzo-soprano Kara Cornell as the title character.  Directed by Jason Dolmetsch and sung in French with supertitles, the remainder of the cast includes Alvaro Rodriguez as Don Jose, Charles Martin as Escamillo, Alexis Rodda as Micaela and Patrick McNally as Zuniga.  Elizabeth Bonomo provides musical direction as well as piano accompaniment. The UAlbany show is preceded by two other local performances. HHOT will present Carmen on January 30 at Hubbard Hall and February 1 at Dorset Playhouse.

Cornell is an operatically trained cross-over artist from Fuera Bush who is known for her rich, easily produced voice and engaging dramatics.  Recent operatic roles include Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Maddalena in Rigoletto and Jo in Mark Adamo’s Little Women.  Most recently she has performed leading roles with Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, St. Petersburg Opera in Florida, Center City Opera in Philadelphia and in New York with Mosaic-Arts, Capital Opera, Capital Concert Opera, Northport Opera, Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, Stony Brook Opera, Musaic Concert Series, Metropolis Opera and Long Island Opera.  

Hubbard Hall Opera Theater is led by Artistic Director Alix Jones and is based at Hubbard Hall, an historic opera house located in Cambridge. The organization strives to give young artists opportunities to perform key operatic roles in a nurturing environment alongside seasoned professionals through main stage productions, the conservatory student training program and outreach performances.  It also engages and builds rural audiences for opera through offering affordable, intimate high-quality musical and theatrical performances. 

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students, seniors & UAlbany faculty/staff and may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office.  For further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

The final concert in the Bel Canto Series will feature Amanda Boyd on April 27 and will be preceded by a master class and meet-the-artist session with the soprano on April 26.