WESTFIELD, NJ— An audience of about 500 cheered the Westfield Symphony orchestra’s performance of Bizet’s Carmen on Saturday, September 29, at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

The performance featured the combined choirs of Westfield’s Edison and Roosevelt intermediate schools, Summit Chorale and Music Director Thomas Juneau. The starring roles were sung by a roster of outstanding guest soloists, led by internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Maria Todaro as Carmen, renowned American tenor William Joyner as Don José and Argentina’s Gustavo Ahualli as Escamillo, the dashing bullfighter. WSO Music Director David Wroe conducted.

The concert was a special one for the Westfield students involved, who had the unique opportunity during rehearsals to meet and chat with the soloists and see first-hand how a professional production is put together.

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“It’s a great experience for the kids, to be part of a professional production,” said Elizabeth Ryan, director of marketing for the WSO.

According to the WSO, this production was made possible through the generous support of the Joseph DeAlessandso Memorial Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.