27 June 2017
Free opera for the public comes to Jersey with Rennes Opera's contemporary staging of Bizet’s opera Carmen screened in Jersey Library on Saturday 8 July.
The French initiative, which sees a special opera performance screened live throughout Brittany every two years, is designed to take an art form sometimes seen as exclusive to the widest public.
Assistant Minister with responsibility for culture, Deputy Murray Norton, who attended the live performance in Rennes earlier this month, said "It was incredible to experience - not only the talented cast performing but the extraordinarily large crowds watching on the big screens enjoying world class opera free. This was the third time Jersey has been involved in this important initiative and I look forward to the Jersey screening as part of the French Festival on 8 July. "
While the opera was performed to a live audience at the Rennes Opera House, it was relayed on screens to thousands outside in the Place de la Mairie and to 20 other towns in Brittany – it’s estimated that more than 16,000 people watched the live relay earlier this month.
Jersey has previously benefited from this cooperation with Rennes Opera and Rennes Metropole with screenings at the Opera House and in Howard Davis Park in 2013 and 2015. This year, though, Jersey Library will be transformed with a screen suspended from the first floor balcony and a sound system installed for the special performance.
The project in Jersey is a collaboration between the Education Department and Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture.
The opera itself - with its story of passion and tragedy, and its well-known melodies - is one of the most popular in the repertoire, and the Rennes production has a strong pedigree. First staged at St Gallen in Switzerland, it’s directed by the Italian Nicola Berloffa and stars the French mezzo-soprano Julie Robard-Gendre in the title role.
The performance in Jersey on 8 July starts at 8pm in the Jersey Library in Halkett Place (doors open at 7.30pm). Entry is free but tickets to guarantee limited seats are available online.
Bizet's Carmen from Rennes Opera
Assistance with booking a seat is available from the enquiry desk in the Library.