Experience the Music of ‘Carmen’ with Philharmonia

The Kalamazoo Philharmonia will wrap up its 2023–2024 season with a semi-staged opera performance of Carmen this weekend in collaboration with the West Michigan Opera Project

Under the direction of Andrew Koehler, the Kalamazoo Philharmonia will perform Carmen on Friday in Grand Rapids and on Sunday in Kalamazoo. 

Carmen is one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon. Composer Georges Bizet died at just 36 years of age, only a few months after the premiere of his magnus opus, while early audiences in Paris were still scandalized by the way the topic and music broke conventions. 

According to the Philharmonia’s season brochure, “The verité grittiness of the story, full of soldiers, thieves, cigarette factory laborers; the disastrous (if compulsively watchable) choices of the male protagonist, Don José; the seductive qualities of Carmen, precisely because of her complete disregard for societal niceties; and, of course, the picaresque, effortlessly melodic music of Bizet: all of these combine to create one of the most arresting dramas ever created, one whose influence was felt in almost every opera that followed.” 

Andrew Koehler will conduct the Philharmonia in a performance of "Carmen."
Professor of Music Andrew Koehler will direct the Kalamazoo Philharmonia this weekend in a semi-staged opera performance of “Carmen” in collaboration with the West Michigan Opera Project.

Friday’s free performance will start at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids. 

On Sunday, May 19, the Philharmonia will play at 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park Street in downtown Kalamazoo. Tickets will be sold at the door and will cost $7 for general admission, $3 for students and free for Kalamazoo College students. Credit cards will be accepted. 

Founded in 1990 by Barry Ross as the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Philharmonia brings together students, faculty, amateur and professional musicians of all ages to perform great music. 

For more information on this concert, contact Susan Lawrence in the Department of Music at 269.337.7070 or Susan.Lawrence@kzoo.edu.