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Opera star Graves withdraws from 'Carmen'

February 22, 2010

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    February 22, 2010
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera star Graves withdraws from 'Carmen'

Opera star Denyce Graves has pulled out of Opera Carolina’s upcoming staging of “Carmen,” citing illness.

Graves, who last performed in Charlotte in the slavery-era opera “Margaret Garner,” previously canceled “Carmen” appearances this month in New Jersey and Baltimore.

“I was looking forward to coming back to (Opera Carolina) after the tremendous experience we all celebrated in the acclaimed presentation of ‘Margaret Garner,’ ” Graves said in a statement. “I am, however, managing a temporary health challenge that prevents me at the moment from working.”

Graves’ replacement will be Kirstin Chavez, an up-and-coming singer who stepped in at the New Jersey and Baltimore performances. Chavez has portrayed Carmen – one of opera’s most magnetic characters – in Europe, Asia and Australia as well as in the United States. After performances in Austria, Opera News magazine hailed her charisma, spontaneity and “dark, generous” voice.

Opera Carolina will present the ever-popular opera March 13-20.

“We regret that Denyce will not be part of…‘Carmen,’ and Opera Carolina wishes her a speedy recovery,” James Meena, the company’s general director, said in a statement.

By Steven Brown

To read the original article, visit the The Charlotte Observer.