March 24, 2010
Contact: Sara R. Leonard
Concert and Production Manager

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College Department of Music presents a student-directed and student-designed production of George Bizet’s Carmen on Saturday, April 17, at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the ArmsMusicCenter at AmherstCollege. The cast is composed of professional opera singers from around the country. Tickets are free, but required. Advance reservations begin April 5 and are strongly recommended.

From their first encounter in the town square of Seville, Don José, an aristocrat from a distinguished Catholic family from Basque country, and Carmen, a Roma (Gypsy) widely celebrated for her singing and dancing, find themselves bound by the power of a fateful desire. Even as Micaela, the young girl from back home, journeys to Seville, offering Don José a way out, and Escamillo, the rising celebrity of the bullfight arena, offers Carmen status and financial security, the ill-fated and unlikely couple remain locked in a destiny that propels them to a tragic end.

Amherst’s production will feature award-winning mezzo-soprano Stephanie Chigas in the title role. Hugo Vera, a recent addition to the Metropolitan Opera roster, will play Don José. The cast is rounded out by 2007 Amherst graduate Julia Fox (Micaela), Anton Belov (Escamillo), and Todd Trebour (Morales). The production is a project of producer and music professor Jenny Kallick’s “Creating Musical Drama” class. Mark Lane Swanson, music director, will conduct the Amherst Opera Orchestra.

Tickets for the performance can be reserved by calling 413/542-2195 or e-mailing on or after April 5. Seating is reserved and assigned on a best-available basis. Early reservations are recommended.

For a complete listing of upcoming Amherst College Department of Music events, visit us on the Web at