Opera, enlarged


Dominick Chenes and LaToya Lain star in Carmen.

Big voices in big productions about big personalities in big venues deserve big support. Given that it’s opera, is that asking too big a favor from Vegas audiences? That brings us to Carmen, the UNLV Opera Theater’s interpretation of Georges Bizet’s classic about a fiery gypsy who turns the life of a soldier upside down.

“The spin on this is fate vs. free will,” company director Linda Lister says. “How much can you control your own destiny, and what controls you? Mutiny, spurned lovers, a bullfighter and—uh-oh—murder figure into Carmen, the lead role double-cast with LaToya Lain and Kathleen McVicker. With Lister at the helm, surprises are possible—last November, her troupe reinterpreted Mozart’s The Impresario about squabbling sopranos as a diva dual between Lady Gaga and Madonna.

Kooky, and kinda cool. Bypassing the Doc Rando Recital Hall this time, Carmen is mounted on UNLV’s primary stage in the 1,800-seat Ham Hall, backed by the UNLV Symphony Orchestra.

“We know we’re not going to fill [Ham Hall],” Lister says. “But it’s a great chance for students to sing in that big space.”

Showing up would be really big of you.

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