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Press release, July 2, 2010

Savonlinna Opera Festival:

Premiere of Carmen on Saturday July 3

Yesterday’s dress rehearsal of Carmen began with thunderous applause and shouts of Bravo for conductor Jacques Delacot. Conducting without a score, he gets the Opera Festival Orchestra playing with precision and a rich, full sound. Carmen is back on the Olavinlinna stage as fresh and spirited as ever after an absence of two summers.

Stella Grigorian, a former member of the Vienna State Opera’s solo ensemble, brings elegance and even humour to the part of Carmen: the temperamental temptress does not take herself too seriously. Grigorian does not pretend to be Carmen, she IS Carmen, quite at home on the stage. By contrast Milijana Nikolic – the other Carmen – is a youthful, dashing figure with her beautiful tall presence. Sensitive Grazia Doronzio is an enchanting Micaëla, and Frasquita, as Carmen’s friend, is convincingly portrayed by Marjukka Tepponen, winner of both the Lappeenranta and the Mustakallio Competitions. In Carmen, the vocal and dramatic prowess of the Savonlinna Opera Festival Choir, and especially the women’s choir, really comes into its own.

This season of strong female characters continues after the premieres of Tosca and Carmen with the first night of Madama Butterfly on July 5 and culminates in the premiere of Lucia di Lammermoor on July 10.

Premiere of Carmen in Olavinlinna Castle at 19.00 on July 3, 2010. Accreditation for Opera Festival performances at www.operafestival.fi. Further details from the PR and Press Office at Olavinkatu 27, 57100 Savonlinna: 2nd floor, Mon-Sat 9-17, Sun 10-15, tel. +358 15 4767529, press@operafestival.fi.