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Symphony revisiting ‘Carmen’ for first time in years

Accomplished singers are part of the show.

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is winding down its 69th season on Saturday with a special dramatic concert version of “Bizet’s Carmen” at Kuss Auditorium.

Symphony director David Deitrick said “Carmen” is the most popular opera of all time. “This concert is the culmination of an exceptional season, and we’re extremely happy to be doing it,” he said.

The orchestra, led by Peter Stafford Wilson, hasn’t performed “Carmen” in Springfield since the 1950s, said Deitrick. The opera tells the story of a soldier who falls in love with a gypsy woman, who ultimately rejects him.

The performance will include several accomplished soloists: the role of Carmen will be sung by Elise DesChamps; Brian Banion sings the role of Don José; Eric Johnston is Escamillo; and April Bennett performs as Micaëla. The Symphony Chorale and Children’s Chorus will also be featured.

“The Chorale brings such a special quality to the symphony,” said Deitrick. “They have been learning French, which is not an easy language in which to sing.”

A pre-concert talk by Luke Dennis of WYSO-FM (91.3) will be held prior to the concert at 7:15 p.m. in the Turner Studio. In addition, there will be a prelude by Timothy J. Wolf, flamenco guitarist, in the Kuss lobby at 7:15 p.m.

Tickets are $24 to $48 for adults and $12 to $36 for students and are available by calling (937) 328-3874 or online at A limited number of seats are available the week of the concert at only $15 adults/$10 students.

Concert sponsors include James and Nike Lagos, Jane Hollenbeck, and the Springfield News-Sun. The Ohio Arts Council also helps fund the Symphony.

More music events

These other musical events are also happening this week:

Wittenberg Symphonic Band Concert

7:30 p.m. Friday

Weaver Chapel, Wittenberg University

Brandon Jones, conductor, has planned an evening of music by American composers Joseph Willcox Jenkins, Steven Bryant, Frank Ticheli and H. Owen Reed. Free. More info: (937) 327-6231.

Chamber Music Yellow Springs Annual Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles

7:30 p.m. Sunday

First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

Two professional ensembles chosen by first-round judges will perform. Tickets are $7 to $20. Call (937) 374-8800.

Wittenberg Jazz Band

7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Wittenberg University, Krieg Hall

Adam McCord, director, hosts music to get your toes tapping. Free. More info: (937) 327-6231.

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