Vancouver Opera

Photo: Rinat Shaham as Carmen

Fate, if you believe in it, can deal a dirty hand. In Vancouver Opera's newest Carmen, the willful Spanish gypsy believes the cards never lie, and turns up the fatal Ace of Spades during the prelude.

Director David Gately's decision to open the show with that wordless moment, reiterated in Act Three, doesn't give the game away to first-time Carmen viewers, but provides an eloquent tease to fans who like to play "spot the symbolism." Fragments of her true love's name, Escamillo, spell trouble ahead on the bullring colonnade, but that's about as conceptual as Vancouver Opera's 10th Carmen gets. Gately goes for a charged verismo on a tawny sun-drenched set from Austin Lyric Opera.

— Vancouver Courier

Florida Grand Opera

David Gately's direction was exemplory, moving the large chorus and principals effectively and keeping the stage action fluid and focused... a lively, colorful and extraordinarily combustible production.

— Sun-Sentinal