Thirty years after mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves wooed audiences in the titular role for the Minnesota Opera’s 1991 production of Carmen, she is back with the company—this time in the director’s chair. Carmen, from French composer Georges Bizet, is Graves’ directorial debut, and it’s a slap bang finish for the MN Opera’s 2021-22 season, which saw the company navigating a tricky year. The opera follows the arc of love between a local beauty and visiting soldier, and the fallout when their worlds collide. It features devastatingly beautiful arias and sonorous ensemble pieces that have been repurposed through the ages in a variety of movies, ads and TV shows (there’s a good chance you’ve heard numerous songs from the opera, whether or not you know it). This production welcomes a refreshingly diverse cast that includes the lauded Maya Lahyahi, Zoie Reams, Won Whi Choi and Rafael Moras. May 7th-22nd. Various Times. $25-198. All Ages.
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