Opera “Carmen” to go on stage for women-only audience

December 25, 2018 - 18:50

TEHRAN – The all-female troupe Shiftegan Del plans to go on stage at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on January 4 to perform the opera “Carmen”, French composer Georges Bizet’s tale of love, jealousy and murder.

This is the first time the opera is performed in Iran after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, soprano singer Shahla Milani told the Persian service of ILNA on Monday.

She is also the director of the Melal Vocal Ensemble, which will accompany the troupe in the performance.

“It’s difficult to perform the opera. Women are scheduled to play the roles of the male characters because this opera has been arranged exclusively for an audience of women. Women with alto voices have been selected to star as men,” Milani said.
The troupes along with two choral groups of children and adults have spent eight months rehearsing the opera, which will be directed by Hayedeh Kishipur. 

“Opera has its own specific definition, and perhaps the troupes cannot present an accurate form of opera in their performance. Nevertheless, the movement offers hope that the art can again be restored in the country,” Milani stated.

The opera is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naive soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.

Niusha Sajjadi will star as Carmen and Mehrnaz Haqju will play the role of Don José. Negar Abrishami and Mona Arastu are also the main members of the cast.

Mezzo-soprano singer Nasrin Nasehi Tehrani and soprano singer Shahrzad Yusefi will accompany the troupes. 

Shiftegan Del and the Melal Vocal Ensemble have previously collaborated on several performances, including Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s comic and romantic operetta “Arshin Mal Alan” that was staged at Vahdat Hall in 2016 and 2018.  

Photo: A poster for the opera “Carmen”.


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