Carmen at Opera Australia

Bizet classic’s feminist makeover
Iain Shedden [The Australian, 7 Feb 05]
IT would come as a shock to opera-goers if the cast of Carmen were suddenly to break into a chorus of Sisters are Doing it for Themselves.
They might be forgiving, however, once they heard the gospel-tinged tones of American mezzosoprano Andrea Baker, who sings the title role in the Opera Australia production that begins a six-week run under the baton of Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko at the Sydney Opera House tonight.
Certainly the song, thematically speaking, wouldn’t be out of place in director Lindy Hume’s interpretation of Bizet’s opera, which brings a feminist slant to the powerful love story. And Baker, who sings the blues when she’s not engaged in opera, would easily do justice to the Annie Lennox/ Aretha Franklin original.
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