Loose Tea Music Theatre’s Carmen #YesAllWomen has been in the works for three years. It went “live” this week with a production at Heliconian Hall. It’s an intriguing show. Dramatically and musically it’s recognisably based on Bizet’s Carmen but only just. In Alaina Viau and Monica Pearce’s version the principal male character is one John Anderson, an Afghanistan vet with PTSD, his rival for Carmen is a rapper, Maximillian aka Hot God, and Michaela is Anderson’s estranged wife.
Last night was the last performance at Heliconian Hall of Loose Tea Music Theatre’s double bill of Anne Frank operas. The first half of the show centred on Grigori Frid’s monodrama for soprano and chamber ensemble (given here in piano score) The Diary of Anne Frank. It’s a work in 21 scenes of which 15 were performed last night. For a Soviet work of the 1970s it’s surprisingly modern in style with some interesting music for the piano. The vocal part though is pretty unsympathetic and although Gillian Grossman managed it pretty well a lot of it lies too high for comfort or even comprehension.
There’s another indie opera company in town; Loose Tea Music Theatre. They are going to be putting on a crowd source funded transladaptation of Carmen called La tragédie de Carmen at Buddies in Bad Times on September the 6th, 7th and 8th. Details of the show are here and the crowd source funding page is here. This is no amateur effort. It’s directed by Alaina Viau who has worked at the ROH. The title role will be sung by Cassandra Warner, last seen in Opera Atelier’s Magic Flute, and the Don José is Ryan Harper, previously a Rodolfo for Against the Grain’s Tranzac La Bohème.