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Chicago Opera Theater Recommended All Ages Soundboard

When: Sat., May 2, 7:30 p.m., Tue., May 5, 7:30 p.m., Sun., May 10, 3 p.m., Wed., May 13, 7:30 p.m. and Fri., May 15, 7:30 p.m. 2009

La Tragedie de Carmen This 80-minute, four-voice adaptation of Bizet’s 19th-century opera—the product of a 1980s collaboration between director Peter Brook, composer Marius Constant, and playwright Jean-Claude Carriere—is Carmen minus the mantilla and fan, most of the orchestra, and a bunch of the music. It doesn’t work as drama: the characters are merely fate’s puppets, dropped into one disaster after another. But as a game played with Carmen, it’s fascinating. More important, Chicago Opera Theater’s production, directed by Andrew Eggert and conducted by Alexander Platt, offers three glorious voices: Sandra Piques Eddy as the malevolent Carmen; Krenare Gashi as her opposite on the purity scale, Micaela; and Noah Stewart as the object of their rivalry, Don Jose. The shifting of the story’s time frame to the late 1930s, during the Spanish civil war, is effective, as is Carol Bailey’s stripped-down, evocative set; turning bullfighter Escamillo (played by Michael Todd Simpson) into a boxer is not. —Deanna Isaacs

Price: $17.50-$120

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