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The borough’s only opera company is ready to perform a soulful French classic involving passion-filled Spaniards this weekend.

Queens Opera Theatre will offer its version of The Tragedy of Carmen at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m.

Composed by Parisian childhood prodigy Georges Bizet in 1875, “Carmen” takes place in Southern Spain’s Seville in about 1830. In a town full of smugglers, an honest-but-naïve soldier, Don José, falls madly in love with Carmen, a fiery, free-love gypsy whose sensual dances drive men wild.

A smitten Don José leaves his childhood sweetheart, Micaëla, and deserts the military to be with Carmen, but soon thereafter she rejects him for Escamillo, a hunky matador. In a jealous rage and thoroughly converted from honest man to scoundrel, Don José responds by murdering Carmen.

This modern, 90-minute adaptation will be presented in a concert/play form with soloists and live piano accompaniment. The cast is Mikki Sodergren as Carmen, Ben Robinson as Don José, Megan King as Micaëla and Douglin Murray Schmidt as Escamillo. Gloria Kim plays the piano.

Brian Gil and Andy Anderson founded Queens Opera Theatre about two years ago with the hopes of making their beloved art form more accessible to borough residents. The nonprofit, which is  a Flushing Town Hall space grant recipient, has also produced “The Gift of the Magi” and a general show of arias and duets by composers such as Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini and Richard Wagner.

Tickets are $16. Students pay $10, and teenagers can attend for free as part of an ongoing promotion at Flushing Town Hall.

Image: Queens Opera Theater


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