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Canadian Carmen at The State Opera

Audience members will discover a new face in the title role of one of their most favourite opera. Bizet's Carmen is the first performance of the new opera season 2015/2016 starring Canadian mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel. Friday's performance under the baton of Tomáš Brauner will be her Czech debut. Alongside Mireille Lebel as Don José the Argentinean tenor Raul Gabriel Iriarte will also debut in his role at The State Opera; he has already sang the role of Faust in Boito's Mefistofele.

"I still perceive the character of Carmen in this production as a seductress, but also a charming traitor. I am pleased that with my entrance onto the stage of The State Opera I can move between two worlds - the enchanting Prague and the exotic, colourful Seville, as imagined by Bizet himself," says Mireille Lebel.

Canadian mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel grew up in Vancouver and received her musical education at the Universities of Toronto and Montreal. She has had extensive experience with the old, pre-mozart music. She has participated as part of the Boston Early Music Festival in recordings of the operas Acteon by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and operas of Jean-Baptiste Lully Theseus and Psyche, both of which were nominated for a Grammy Award. As a member of the opera studio of the Montreal expanded its repertoire the role of Flora (La Traviata), Mallika (Lakmé), Kate Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Concepción (The Spanish Hour) or Lisetta (The World on the Moon). At The Linbury Theatre at Covent Garden, she performed in contemporary opera by Ana Sokolovic The Midnight Court. Lebel also sang the role of Ljubica at the European premiere production of The Wedding by same author, which was presented this year at the prestigious festival in Aix-en-Provence and in May 2016 Nantes in May 2016. From season 2009/2010 Mireille Lebel is a member of the ensemble at Theater Erfurt in Germany, where among her roles are Cherubino in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Idamante in Idomeneo and Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, as well as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus by Strauss, Rossini's La Cenerentola, Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Fyodor in Boris Godunov.

Mireille Lebel will sing the role of Carmen the State Opera again on 30 January, 23 March and 11 June 2016.