Of all of Shakespeare's plays, none has captured the public's imagination quite like Hamlet, the Bard's harrowing tale of betrayal, murder, sexual politics, and dead people looking for vengeance (okay, all of William's plays are pretty much like that).
But you haven't seen Hamlet until you've seen it performed as an opera.
And, even more to the point, the way Carson Kievman and the Soundtheater will be performing it at the SoBe Institute of the Arts from February 24 through March 11.
This re-imagined musical version of Hamlet was the final commission by renowned producer Joseph Papp (No Place To Be Somebody, A Chorus Line, Hair, to name a few of his kickass productions) before his passing in 1991. Kievman, who wrote and composed the music and libretto 21 years ago, is now ready to unleash it to the theatergoing masses.
When picturing Hamlet done through opera, it's hard not to picture men in tights, holding skulls, and singing "To be or not to be..." like this.
But Keivman's labor of love promises far more than what Gilligan delivered, featuring the diverse talents of amazing vocalists, like baritone Kenneth Mattice as Hamlet, Meagan Brus as Ophelia and Justin John Moniz as Horatio.
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This Hamlet will retain all of the elements that make Shakespeare's ingenious tragedy of dead fathers, aloof mothers, evil uncles, and people generally losing their shit, the emotional barnburner that it is while delivering it in a contemporary way for modern audiences.
Kievman's production sets out to enhance Shakespeare's Old English dialog with the stirring awesomeness of operatic music, staying faithful to the story, but giving it a pulse with the help of the talented cast as well as acclaimed New York opera conductor John Yaffé.
Carson Kievman's Hamlet will run February 24 through March 11 at Little Stage Theater at SoBe Arts (2100 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach). Opening Night tickets cost $100, which includes VIP champagne celebration sponsored by Laurent-Perrier (Sarah Halstead) and Sylvano Restaurant (Sylvano Carrara). General seating for subsequent performances costs $25 ($12.50 students & seniors). Call 305-674-9220 or visit sobearts.org.