Mike Dunham  of the ADN attended opening night and had much to say about the production (all good)…including these excerpts:

Audrey Babcock as Carmen: “Bizet’s gypsy temptress, powerfully sung by Audrey Babcock is…a steely, adamantine portrayal that gives us a sense of Carmen as an elemental force, as certain and unstoppable as the tide…There was nothing lacking in Babcock’s voice in either the precision or strength departments.”

Guido LeBron as Escamillo: “commanded the stage whenever he appeared, both vocally and as a presence. His toreador was both a public hero and a likeable mensch, taking a certain delight in the delight of others as he stole the show.”

Kirk Dougherty as Don Jose and Rebecca Heath as Micaela: “Rebecca Heath made a beautiful and tragic…village girl who is herself destroyed in her forlorn attempt to save Jose. The singing of both was quite good. Dougherty…hit the high “à toi” at the end of “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” in full voice. Heath’s phrasing, emotion and intonation were exquisite.”

Other Leading Roles: “a well-projected Mercedes from Cabiria Jacobsen and Rachel Hastings…Frasquita. Michael Smith and George Yang made a lively and convincingly delinquent young pair of smugglers. Kyle Gantz did his best work to date with Zuniga and Steven Dixon‘s Morales was a pleasure to hear.”

The Chorus:  “The adult and children’s choruses were effective and attentively rehearsed; the gentlemen of the chorus deserve particular praise.”

David Lefkowich, Stage Director: “Smooth staging with constant activity, made this a Carmen worth watching…there was a great sense of realism and credibility throughout the show.”

Brian DeMaris, Conductor: “conducted with tight tempos and precision…the audience was on the edge of their seats for the frantic finale…the winds in the Act Two prelude, were as nuanced as a Handel concerto.”

Peter Harrison, Set Designer and Steve TenEyck, Lighting Designer: “the unit set, four stark panels surrounding the players like a bullring and compellingly lit…was both abstract and yet natural.”

The Mayor of Anchorage: “Ethan Berkowitz had the short and ostensibly appropriate walk-on part as the Mayor of Seville. He didn’t sing, but tipped his top hat repeatedly to the great amusement of the audience.”

To read the review in its entirety CLICK HERE