Carmen alfresco

Carmen. The very name immediately conjures up the irresistible melodies of Bizet’s beloved opera as well as the dramatic story of its tempestuous heroine. For our latest video, we found the perfect venue: the historic Asolo Theater, a bona fide 18th century jewel of a theater located in Sarasota’s Ringling Museum. We wanted this video to have a cinematic feel to reflect the epic drama of the opera. So in addition to live performance footage from our two recitals in the Artist Series of Sarasota, we incorporated a variety of scenarios, outfits, and locales into the production.  Besides the elaborate Asolo Theater, we filmed in the breathtaking hills of Lafayette, California. What made this place particularly special was its personal meaning to Greg, as he got married there just two days prior to our shoot. (Speaking of which, the wedding ceremony was an absolutely beautiful, joyous occasion!)

Our alfresco video shoot took place on a picture-perfect, cloudless summer afternoon in early August. We pushed two upright pianos onto the patio of the house, and a handful of our friends and Greg’s parents joined us, just leisurely lounging in the background as Greg and I tore through the piece. The highlight of the shoot was the spectacular sunset at dusk, which we fortunately caught on film.  The sun made its descent into the vast horizon just as we finished playing through the piece -- perfect timing!

As for the Fantasy itself, it is a kaleidoscopic mishmash of our favorite themes from the opera. With this composition, we aimed to push the virtuosic possibilities of two pianos to the hilt. We hope you enjoy our theatrical transcription, performance, and video of Carmen.