Seductress in Sussex

A company of 26 singers, actors, dancers and musicians present Peter Knapp’s new English performing version of Bizet’s musical masterpiece, based on the novel by Prosper Mérimée (Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Thursday to Saturday, September 22 to 24).

“This team breathes new life into the colourful characters and passionate plot, which portrays a good man brought down by the ultimate incarnation of the femme fatale, Carmen,” says spokeswoman Laura Butler.

“The sulky seductress Carmen is sung by mezzo soprano Stephanie Lewis, who spent two years in Italy, absorbing the language and life of southern Europe.

“Don José, the hero, is sung by rising musical theatre star John Addison and Micaela, the sweetheart he leaves at home, by Amaia Azcona, who comes from within miles of where her character lived.

“The production is choreographed by flamenco dancer Noemi Luz, who having studied classical ballet in London, trained with the great flamenco teachers and now lives in Seville.”

Peter Knapp’s original production of this Carmen toured all over the UK and enjoyed seasons at the Barbican Concert Hall in London.

Peter explains: “In this version of Carmen there is a much stronger dance element than normally seen in the opera and a real sense of physical theatre. I have aimed to represent the harsh reality of the original story, basing the dialogue on words spoken in the novel. As a result it has become a powerful piece of musical theatre, which will especially appeal to younger people.”

Tickets 01483 440000 or www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk.