The sound experience of this performance was disconcerting on many levels, as the amplification system made it impossible to judge the quality of the singers' voices. Maya Lahyani had enough magnetism to pull off the title role, with a dark, viscous voice that had most of the compass needed, with some iffy notes on top. New York-born tenor Kevin Ray brought out the dorky qualities of Don José -- "il est trop niais," jokes Carmen at one point -- and had some ringing high notes, although the amplification spoiled the sound of his head voice, so crucial in the character's big aria, La fleur que tu m'avais jetée. Melinda Whittington's Micaëla was full-bodied and not so innocent that she wanted anything to do with Don José by the end of the third act, while the Escamillo of Norman Garrett left little impression, either vocally or dramatically.
Tom Huizenga, Wolf Trap Opera’s ‘Carmen’ could use a little more of the original’s edginess (Washington Post, July 28)
Rather than trying to improve any of these shortcomings, the folks at Wolf Trap expended a lot of effort on some completely unnecessary technological bells and whistles instead. Subtitles that could be beamed to your tablet or other device reportedly did not work most of the evening. David Pogue, a technology writer and opera fan, also came on stage as a supernumerary wearing a Google Glass headset. This coincided almost perfectly with the appearance of Jerry Seinfeld on the cover of Wired as their "Guest Glasshole." No further comment is required.