A pair of Opera Autralia soloists received a pleasant surprise this week when the company gave them an unexpected pat on the back. Carmensingers soprano Jane Ede and bass-baritone Adrian Tamburini celebrated their 100th performances in the roles of Frasquita and Zuniga during the run of John Bell’s Havana-inspired staging of Bizet at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Opera Australia Carmen Jane Ede and Adrian Tamburini. Photos © Hernan Cabrera

To celebrate, Opera Australia honoured the two stalwarts with flowers, a flourish of gold balloons spelling out “100” and a chocolate cake that would likely features high on most opera singer’s list of 10 things I mustn’t eat before I go on stage.

Of course, the roles of Carmen’s best friend and Don José’s commanding officer may not get the big arias, but each is a vital part of Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy’s well-oiled plot, and both singers have stood out over the years for their ability to make a supporting role into a lynchpin.

Limelightasked each of them to come up with a version of the opera seen from the perspective of their own character, and this is what they delivered.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.