The creative vision for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Carmen has been revealed with the final ‘C’ of six giant letters spelling out ‘CARMEN’ now in place on the harbour-top opera stage. The spectacular Spain-Meets-Hollywood stage will set the scene for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Carmen, which opens Friday 22 March for three weeks only.
The Hollywood-inspired Carmen letters measure a staggering 9 metres high and 25 metres wide. When the production opens next Friday 22 March, they will be spot-lit by lighting towers on and around the main stage during the production. The scaffolding supporting the letters doubles as a structure for the singers and dancers to climb and perform from during the show. The stage itself is 32 metres by 24 metres and resembles a round, blood-stained bullfighting ring. It sits on a platform supported by 16 pylons sunk into Sydney Harbour.
The Carmen letters will cut an imposing silhouette across Sydney Harbour for the duration of the production, 22 March – 12 April. It positively dwarfs Australian icons such as the Big Banana and Big Pineapple in scale!
The letters symbolise the glamorous, seductive facade of Carmen and will be seen in all their glossy glory by visitors looking across the harbour from the Sydney Opera House, by joggers around the Royal Botanic gardens, by commuters driving across the Harbour Bridge and those travelling by ferry (or cruise ship!) on Sydney Harbour. The audience will see the letters in reverse, signifying the seedy underworld in which the gypsies’ underhanded activities take place at the tobacco factory in Seville, Spain.
The Carmen set features other spectacular effects including a life-sized slaughtered bull (post bull-fight) and fireworks. Dancers will whirl about the stage in dazzling flamenco costumes, bringing colour and movement to the blood-red stage.
Some of the world’s best opera talents have converged in Sydney to perform in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Carmen. Hailing from Sydney, Perth and Tasmania in Australia, from New York and Memphis in the USA and even from the Ukraine, this is a truly global cluster of opera stars.
When the show opens, they will have had just over four weeks to bring this brand new outdoor production to perfection, ahead of the opening night on Friday 22 March, when they will perform on Australia’s most unique opera stage atop the water of Sydney Harbour. A nightly audience of 3,000 seated at the edge of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney will enjoy tapas, paella, Spanish BBQ and cocktails in luxury, while they watch the drama of Carmen unfold beneath the stars.