Tenor goes from good man to wimp

“Carmen” on Cockatoo Island, artist’s impression.

SINGER Diego Torre is used to enjoying the good guys in opera – that usually goes with being a tenor – however as Carmen’s lover Don José, the position he shares with Roberto Aronica in Opera Australia’s new Opera on Cockatoo Island, he will get to performs a wimp.

This new manufacturing of Bizet’s perennially fashionable opera, directed by Liesel Badorrek and designed by Mark Thompson, is billed as gritty and immersive, that includes a world of misfits, fringe dwellers and outsiders and full with motorcycle stunts, nightly fireworks and a contact of rock ‘n’ roll.

However all of the razzle-dazzle can’t get across the puzzling incontrovertible fact that the romantic male lead is weak.

Once I meet up with Torre, who has made his house along with his household in Australia since first coming right here to sing in 2011, he talks concerning the psychology of the easy soldier, Don José, who murders Carmen in a jealous rage within the concluding moments of the opera.

“He’s not a foul man,” he says, “however let’s not attempt to victimise Carmen both—My opinion is that each characters ought to by no means have gotten collectively– it simply occurred.”

He’s been going into the query of Don José’s character deeply with Badorrek and says, “Don José is coming from a distinct environment, he’s a boy who loves his mom and is attempting to do the appropriate factor in his life…however he finds himself involved with Carmen.. she begins to seduce him, then manipulates him, then humiliates him, and as a response, he kills her. That’s the tragedy.”

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Don José’s conflicts come out within the music in order that at any time when trying on the previous, Torre says, there’s a leitmotif indicating the time along with his mom, a time when he was pleased. Definitely, he has concluded, there may be weak point of character there, and his village girlfriend, Michaela, is unable to save lots of him.

“Carmen” was written by Bizet as an “opera-comique,” in a mix of spoken and sung dialogue, however not on this interpretation, he says, which is sung-through, giving larger weight to the sense of impending tragedy.

Oddly, for a veteran performer with 32 productions for Opera Australia behind him, Torre has by no means carried out in Handa Opera on the Harbour so is considerably intimidated by the scale of the large out of doors Cockatoo Island stage.

“I’m a bit of bit nervous. It’ll be a primary,” he says.

“Every thing must be larger on this manufacturing. I’ve had discussions with the director on this level, so we have to minimise our actions to make it clear to the viewers what’s taking place.”

“Carmen”, Opera Australia at Cockatoo Island, November 25-December 18.