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Beyond Carmen

Created by: Audrey Babcock

Vocals: Audrey Babcock

Guitar: Andres Vadin

Original Production

November 2019 - Delaware Opera

Additional Production dates

August 2023 - Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater


Director's Note

Carmen. There is no more iconic woman in Operatic history. She is so singled out that her image has become mainstream and is synonymous with the Femme Fatale. There is no image, no legend, no creature, more riddled with weaponized femininity then my beloved, Carmencita. Carmen’s origin story is rich—it has been written that the author of the original novella, Prosper Mérimée, derived his inspiration for this illusory gypsy from a real-life Sephardic Jew. Though Jews were exotic at the time, Gypsies had a more solid reputation for nefariousness and made a more daring choice for his Parisian newspaper-reading audience. With Beyond Carmen we will explore her Sephardic roots, singing in Ladino or “Judeo Spanish”, similar to ancient Castilian Spanish. We will play with the rhythms, textures, and accents of the marginalized people of the diaspora, and most of all we will sing and cry out for the misunderstood experience of being fiercely female in a time that saw a woman’s strength as something dangerous, dark, and destined for annihilation.



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