March 06, 2019

Meet the Don Josés to our Carmens!

Last month you met the Carmens. Now it’s time to meet the two world-renowned tenors who will be vying for Carmen’s heart as Don José during Lyric’s new-to-Chicago production of the classic tale of seduction, love, and betrayal. 

From February 11 through March 6, the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja will take on the role of the lovestruck corporal, Don José. He debuted in this role last season at Oper Frankfurt and earned critical acclaim for his portrayal. “[He] showed in game as in voice a character development that confirmed his reputation: Clear, bright, and flattering. He breathed in the first acts of his love for Carmen, until the end, spoiled by jealousy,” noted Bachtrack

The tenor continues to make a name for himself in the opera world. Declares The New York Times; “Mr. Calleja has one of the loveliest voices in opera right now, pure, sunny and strong, but with a ringing vibration.” Calleja triumphed at Lyric in 2015/16 as Romeo in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.

From March 16 through March 25, American tenor Brandon Jovanovich returns to Lyric in one of his signature roles, having performed Don José in over a dozen different opera houses around the globe. He was critically acclaimed for his portrayal in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Bizet’s masterpiece. As The New York Times declared, “Mr. Jovanovich’s theatrically potent portrayal of Don José, whose love for Carmen destroys them both, vividly traced his descent from upstanding, nice-guy soldier to crazed murderer, undone by the mind games of the lustful Gypsy.”

Brandon has also been praised for his “ardent, heroic tenor and strong acting” by The Wall Street Journal. He won rave reviews earlier this season as Énée in Lyric’s premiere of Berlioz’s Les Troyens

Lyric Opera of Chicago is truly honored to welcome back two of the world’s most celebrated tenors to our stage. Carmen is the perfect work to see again, or for the first time, with two powerhouse casts, it’s a production not to be missed.

New Lyric Opera coproduction of Bizet’s Carmen generously made possible by

Harris Family Foundation

James N. and Laurie V. Bay

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.

Mazza Foundation

Seymour H. Persky Charitable Trust

Coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera.

Photos: Lynn Lane/Houston Grand Opera, Mathias Bothor