Westfield Symphony presents “Carmen” adaptations

Posted on: February 20, 2009

In Thursday’s (2/19) Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), Ruth Bonapace writes, “The Westfield Symphony Orchestra has not so quietly embarked on a mission. Under David Wroe’s leadership, they’ve been taking classical music and turning it on its head, wringing it for every combination and permutation possible to make it, well, fun. … This weekend, get a taste of that ongoing effort as the WSO joins forces with the Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company to put their own spin on the popular opera Carmen, with a score adapted from Bizet’s masterpiece. ‘I wanted a unique retelling of the Carmen story,’ Wroe said. ‘So I commissioned Amaya to choreograph an aspect of Carmen’s life, using Bizet’s music, the book that the opera is based on, and the Pushkin poem that inspired the book.’ … Omayra Amaya is the grandniece of the legendary dancer Carmen Amaya, and her parents had their own dance company in Spain. Amaya’s company is based in New York, and they are known for mixing American jazz with traditional flamenco. … ‘We are moving away from the overture and concerto model to a different idiom in our culture. This program is very much in that ilk,’ said Wroe, a native of Great Britain who has been music director of the 26-year-old orchestra since 1997."