UPDATED: DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND, CARMEN WILL BE BACK AT ARTSCAPE FROM 28 SEPTEMBER TO 2 OCTOBER 2021
Cape Town City Ballet will present Veronica Paeper’s Carmen at Artscape.
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 the ultimate tale of love, passion, betrayal and revenge. It follows the tale of Carmen, 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.
Completing the stellar creative team for the production, design is by Peter Cazalet with lighting design by Wilhelm Disbergen.
“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. She choreographed her first production of Carmen in 1987 for Capab. Her production of A Christmas Carol for Cape Town City Ballet played to sold out houses and critical acclaim in December 2019, and will be restaged in December.
More about Veronica Paeper
Veronica Paeper (pictured right) received her ballet training under the tutelage of Dulcie Howes at the UCT Ballet School, where she also studied with David Poole, Pamela Chrimes and Frank Staff. Staff, whom she married in 1966, and from whom she drew and continues to draw great inspiration, was to have a profound influence on her work as a choreographer.
During her performing career, Paeper rose to become a principal dancer with three South African companies: Capab Ballet, Pact Ballet and Pacofs Ballet.
Paeper held the position of Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Capab from 1990, and Cape Town City Ballet from 1997 until 2005. She led the company on its first international tour of a South African ballet company in 1994.
Paeper’s first work, created for Capab Ballet in the early 1970s, was John the Baptist, a dramatic one-act ballet set to music by Ernest Bloch. It featured scenery and costumes designed by Peter Cazalet, an innovative, witty artist who would remain Paeper’s most frequent artistic collaborator for the next 25 years.
What: Carmen by Cape Town City Ballet
Where and when: 28 September to 2 October 2021. The age recommendation for Carmen is PG 10 years