Opera Scotland

Carmen 2024Dnipro Opera (Ukrainian National Opera)

Read more about the opera Carmen

We have become accustomed in recent years to receiving visits from Eastern European opera companies.  Since the Russians invaded Ukraine two years ago excellent small touring companies have come from Kyiv and now also from Dnipro - a city in the east which has suffered even more from the violence.

Last season they brought Aida and Madama Butterfly to Scotland.  This time they returned with Carmen and La Bohème, visiting Ayr, Dunfermline and Dundee with the first of these. Bohème was seen in Ayr and Perth.

Compared with the Perth performance, the following evening's staging benefitted from the slightly better stage facillities in the Caird Hall - there was room for a set representing urban Seville which could be effectively screened with snowy draperies for the mountain pass (though the characters' shirt-sleeved costumes made no concession to the apparent cold).  In the opening scene, the cigarette girls really did seem a bit over-dressed for their laborious place in life - much more appropriate for the last act celebrations.

The soloists who had not sung in the previous night's Puccini were, of course, the Carmen and Don José.  Viktoria Zhytkova proved to be an excellent mezzo with a lustrous full-toned voice.  She was a good actor and even made a good impression playing her own castanets.

The tenor, Roman Korentsvit, had a powerful voice with all the notes, but he lacked subtlety, either as singer or actor.  The baritone and bass who the night before had sung Schaunard and Colline, now made an equally positive impression as Escamillo and Zuniga.

Once again, the orchestra under Ihor Pluchkov gave an excellent account of the score.  The main drawback to the performance presumably came from the need to end proceedings by 10pm, so that the entire squad could head south for the next date (in Billingham).  This necessitated a number of cuts.  Most damagingly, especially for Frasquita, the wonderful smugglers' quintet fell victim.  Olena Dolhina, last night's excellent Mimì, was an attractive Micaëla, but this did not stop her losing her lovely third act aria,  Bizarre.

There was a substantial representation from the local Ukrainian community in the audience.  This meant that the singing of the Ukrainian anthem, amid much flag-waving, was particularly rousing.

Presented by Amande Concerts.

Performance Cast

Moralès a corporal of dragoons

Andriy Lomakovych (Mar 16)

Volodymyr Hudz

Micaëla a peasant girl

Olena Dolhina (Mar 16)

Olga Perrier

Don José a corporal of dragoons

Teimuraz Parulava

Roman Korentsvit (Mar 16)

Zuniga a lieutenant of dragoons

Maksym Ivashchuk

Frasquita a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Sofiia Soroka

Mercédès a gypsy, Carmen’s friend

Anna Yurintseva

Yelyzaveta Holubieva

Carmen a gypsy

Viktoriia Zhytkova (Mar 16)

Olha Us

Escamillo a toreador

Andriy Lomakovych

Volodymyr Hudz (Mar 16)

Dancaïre a smuggler

Andriy Lomakovych (Mar 16)

Volodymyr Hudz

Remendado a smuggler

Mykhailo Hazin

Performance DatesCarmen 2024

Map List

Gaiety Theatre, Ayr | Ayr

13 Mar, 19.30

Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline | Dunfermline

14 Mar, 19.30

Caird Hall | Dundee

16 Mar, 19.30

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