Arts & Entertainment

Bizet's Tragic Opera, Carmen, Entertaining for Opera Enthusiasts and Newcomers: Opening Saturday, March 22

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Karole and Peter Lewis of Warren perform in "Carmen", Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 at 3 p.m. Credits: Eastern Opera
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BOUND BROOK, NJ - Eastern Opera of New Jersey opens its second season with Georges Bizet's popular tragic opera, Carmen. The show will be performed on Saturday, March 22 and 29 at 8 p.m and Sunday, March 23 and 30 at 3 p.m. at the Brook Theater in Bound Brook. 

Eastern Opera’s upcoming production of Carmen will prove to be an excellent theatre and musical experience for both longtime opera enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of opera—young and old. Eastern Opera Music Director, Paul J. Carroll states, “So much of the music is universally familiar. Even those who have never been to an opera will recognize a great deal of the music.”

The opera will be performed in its original four acts with traditional stage direction by Eastern Opera’s General Director, Karole Lewis. Eastern Opera Artistic Director and Conductor, Maestro Robert Butts, will be leading a chamber orchestra for each performance.

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"If you haven’t ever been to an opera, Carmen is the one to see," said Lewis. "Carmen, translated in English is an accessible opera for all, including children." 

The story of Carmen is rather simple in design. Boy meets girl and they get married. Girl leaves boy and boy gets mad. While the story is simple, the characters that make up the drama are anything but simple.

Lewis is not a stranger to the role of Carmen, as she performed the role in Santa Cruz, California with Bay City Opera and received standing ovations and critical acclaim.

"Carmen was one of those operas, when written, it was controversial. She was sexy when women were not sexy.  She was a trend setter. Unique to her time in history when women were not allowed to speak out. Carmen doesn't seem to care what people think of her." said Lewis.

Opera is a family affair for the Lewis'.  "My husband, Peter, will be performing as tenor Don Jose" said Lewis.  "Don Jose is Carmen's love devoted but hapless lover."  Their daughter, Kimberly, a senior at Watchung Regional High School, will sing as soprano Mercedes.

While the main focus of Carmen is Carmen and Don Jose, other characters come in to mix it up. Michaela (played by Justyna Giermola of Fort Lee and Jacque Levia of Berkeley Heights), an orphan that Don Jose’s mother took in, visits Jose just after Carmen has started to work her magic on Jose.

The production includes a full chorus of adults and children drawn from various communities in New Jersey and New York.

Tickets for “Carmen” are $35 general admission, $25 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12, and may be ordered by calling 908-566-5708 or online. For more information, please visit www.easternopera.org.

Eastern Opera Corp. will immediately go into rehearsal for their next production commencing April 1.  Contact Eastern Opera Corp. for chorus or volunteer opportunities at (908)566-5708.

Editor's Note: The Alternative Press of Berkeley Heights sat with Karole Lewis from Warren, NJ, who started Eastern Opera Corp. as a nonprofit corporation to promote and educate the arts and culture to the local communities.  She is currently in negotiations with the owner of the Berkeley Heights Cinema to lease the space and open a performing arts center and cinema.  Steven Guastamacchia, owner of Yogoccino, is working closely with Lewis to open the theater.

"Like" the Article Post on The Alternative Press of Berkeley Heights Facebook Page for a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of the performances of "Carmen". 

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