Joyce El-Khoury Takes Over ‘Carmen’ at Oper im Steinbruch

By Francisco Salazar

Joyce El-Khoury will sing the title role of “Carmen” at Oper im Steinbruch, replacing Kristine Opolais who withdrew from the production.

El-Khoury took to social media and said, “This summer I will be making my professional stage debut in the title role of Carmen at Oper im Steunbruch. This might come as a surprise to some of you, but this role debut is one of the most meaningful & long-awaited in my career thus far.”

The soprano added, “My journey with the opera Carmen goes back to my student days at The University of Ottawa where I was first studied the role at the age of 20. It was through this experience that my love affair with the art form of opera began. As a young artist, I gained perspectives of the character of Carmen through the eyes of chorister, Frasquita and then as my career began to bloom, in productions as Micaëla. Needless to say, I’ve been waiting for the day to return home to the role of Carmen, who has lived deep in my soul & the colors of my imagination for the last 20 years. I am HONORED to follow in the footsteps of the legendary sopranos who have embodied this iconic role including Maria Callas, Victoria de Los Angeles, Angela Gheorghiu & Ana Maria Martinez. I am so excited and can’t wait to introduce my Carmen to the public in Austria this summer, as well as the rest of the world in a live telecast and DVD recording that will be forthcoming.”

The news comes a day after Opolais withdrew and said, ” I’ve spent a lot of time with this music in the last months, and I feel the role is not one I want to add to my repertoire at this time.”

El-Khoury joins a cast that includes Matthew White, Sergey Kaydalov, and Yulia Suleimanova. The production opens on July 12, 2023.