The Tragedy of Carmen

From June 24 through July 21, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival will present nearly 20 public performances at a number of notable island venues from Kona to Hilo, featuring both student and faculty artists.

This weekend, HPAF will produce a 90-minute adaptation of Georges Bizet’s masterpiece, “The Tragedy of Carmen,” based on the book by Peter Brook. The piece features many classics including the famous “Habanera” and “Torreador Song.”

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HPAF will hold two performances. The first is 7 p.m. Friday at Hilo’s Palace Theatre and the second will be 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.

Kimberly Hann and Brennan Martinez share the title role, appearing on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Originally from Oakton, Virginia, Kimberly Hann has recently appeared with the revered Sarasota Opera as an apprentice artist in their critically acclaimed productions of “La Traviata,” “Manon Lescaut,” “Carmen” (Mercedes cover), “Norma,” and “Tiefland.” Last summer, she performed with The Chautauqua Opera Company as a studio artist in “Candide” and “Don Giovanni.” Later this summer, she heads to Berlin to sing the role of Elizabeth Proctor in “The Crucible.”

“Carmen is a role that I’ve been wanting to perform since I can remember, as I don’t normally get to play a lot of characters with this much fight and personality,” says Hann. “It’s a lot of singing and physicality — trying to balance character work and the physical atheletcisim of the role. Of course, being onstage the entire show without any break is also difficult.”

HPAF alumna Brennan Martinez returns to the Big Island after appearing as The Baker’s Wife in Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” during the 2015 Summer Festival.

“This is my second time at HPAF and I feel right at home. The community is so welcoming and the cast and production team have become a second family. It takes a great team to produce a show like “The Tragedy of Carmen” and HPAF has assembled the best,” says Martinez.

Martinez most recently appeared with The Glimmerglass Festival and the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute. Next season, she will return to the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute performing Annio in “La clemenza di Tito” and the title role in “Thérèse Raquin.”

An alumna of Oklahoma City University, she was a part of the closing night ensemble of “Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway” in November 2016.

“I hope audiences will come to the show for the music. Music from Carmen has been featured in movies, television shows, and commercials. Chances are, the audience will recognize a tune or two. There is something for everyone in The Tragedy of Carmen — exhilarating music, dancing, passion, drama, and action scenes. Everyone can take something away from this production,” added Martinez.

In addition to “The Tragedy of Carmen,” HPAF will offer two additional mainstage productions accompanied by full orchestra, including Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Sondheim’s “Company.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be presented in Davies Chapel at Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea. Performances of “Company” will be presented at both the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea and the Palace Theatre in Hilo.

“Our season offers something for everyone. Whether your passion is opera, chamber music, jazz, musical theatre, or art song, I would encourage you to explore this season’s offerings, and even try something new,” added Moniz.

“The Tragedy of Carmen” will be directed by Scott Skiba and conducted by Jennifer Tung.

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The production will be accompanied by full orchestra.

Tickets are available via at www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org. or through the Palace Theatre at 934-7010 and Kahilu Theatre at 885-6868.

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