Carmen at opera house

Cape Town City Ballet’s Kirstel Paterson

Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) will present Veronica Paeper’s Carmen at Artscape Opera House from Wednesday August 25 until Saturday September 4.

Seating will be strictly limited to 50 people due to social distancing and government regulations. All Covid-19 regulations will be in place including social distancing and wearing masks for entry.

Set to Georges Bizet’s dramatic, famous score, Carmen will be performed to a recording by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

Inspired by Prosper Mérimée’s romantic novel of 1845, Carmen is a tale of love, passion, betrayal and revenge.

Carmen is a fiery gypsy girl who mesmerises and seduces a young soldier, Don Jose. He gives up everything for her, abandoning his childhood sweetheart and deserting his military duties. However, Carmen’s free spirit will not be tamed and her unfaithfulness to him leads to tragic results.

“Carmen is a perennial favourite with its powerful story of love, passion, revenge and power, performed to Bizet’s sweeping score,” says Debbie Turner, CEO of Cape Town City Ballet.

“We are delighted to be able to present this production by one of South Africa’s iconic women and ballet legends, Veronica Paeper, in Women’s Month. Veronica is a former artistic director of both Capab and Cape Town City Ballet and it is a privilege for all of us at the company to be able to appropriately restore her work and once again bring together the creative powerhouses and artistic partnership of Veronica with designer Peter Cazalet, coupled with the masterful lighting design of Wilhelm Disbergen,” says Turner.

“I was truly delighted when Debbie Turner invited me to re-produce Carmen, a ballet I consider one of my better efforts,” says Veronica Paeper.

“Bringing this wonderfully wild, passionate and headstrong gypsy back to life has been a real challenge in these difficult times, a challenge I have relished. Together with the dedicated dancers and all the staff of CTCB – artistic, admin and stage – I believe we have created a wonderful evening of entertainment. I certainly have enjoyed producing the ballet.”

Carmen is one of more than 40 ballets, among them 16 full-length works, that have been choreographed by Paeper, who began her creative portfolio in 1972.

Established as the Nico Malan Theatre in 1971, the Artscape this year marks its 50th anniversary. Carmen is presented as part of the theatre’s celebrations for National Women’s Month.

There is an age recommendation of 10 years for Carmen.

The show will be presented at 6.30pm with Saturday matinees at 2pm.

Tickets cost from R300 to R350. Book through Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-seat 021 421 7695.

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During her performing career, Veronica Paeper rose to become a principal dancer with three South African companies: Capab Ballet, Pact Ballet and Pacofs Ballet.