By Dustin Rich
On Nov. 4, 6, 11, and 13, four Whatcom student musicians from Music 165 will get the chance to perform in the chorus of Pacific Northwest Opera’s production of “Carmen” at McIntyre Hall located on Skagit Valley community college’s campus.
Accompanied by their instructors, these students will have the opportunity of performing alongside professionals in front of a crowd.
Melanie Sehman, head of Whatcom’s Music Department said, “this is what singing in a professional opera production is like,” when describing the value this opportunity presents students.
Set in Seville, Spain, around 1830, “Carmen” is a story about the love and jealousy of Don José. José becomes lured away from his duties as a soldier and his beloved Micaela by the gypsy factory-girl Carmen, who he aids in escaping from custody.
For any student studying music, this is a chance to get on stage with professionals who have made a career out of their talent.
Sehman will be performing with the orchestra for this production and Carol Reed-Jones, a music adjunct instructor, will be singing in the choir alongside the Whatcom students.
The production of “Carmen” marks the third time that collaboration has occurred between the Pacific Northwest Opera and Whatcom’s Music Department.
In the fall of 2014, the Whatcom Collegiate choir had a similar chance to perform alongside the Opera in the production of Aida.
“It was a fabulous experience, and students often greeted one another months later by singing parts of songs from the opera,” said Reed-Jones.
“Carmen” first premiers on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in McIntyre Hall. Tickets can be purchased online at www.mcintyrehall.org or at the box office.
The discounts offered are for groups of 10 or more, military, and a “date night” where those under 35 can get two for the price of one.