Photography by Charles Roussel for PROTOTYPE Festival


The Battle of the Carmens, an Alt-opera blending Bizet's Carmen with Olympic figure skating. In the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, two figure skaters representing America and East Germany battled for Olympic gold, both accompanied by music from "Carmen." Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, herself a former figure skater, tells French composer Georges Bizet's epic story in "Breaking Ice," an all-out musical fantasy for the concert stage.

The Subtly Subversive Imagination of Alicia Hall Moran

The Subtly Subversive Imagination of Alicia Hall Moran

Barnard Magazine, by Camille A. Collins, Spring 2018

An appreciation of composer, choreographer, and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran '95 requires at least an elemental familiarity with the central character in Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. As Hall Moran says, Carmen is "one of the few characters" in the classical repertoire that "black culture has been written into." The motif of Carmen, the marginalized yet cunning cigarette girl from southern Spain, rises again and again in the imagination and oeuvre of Manhattan-based Hall Moran, a multi-genre artist whose performing and composing encompass opera, theatre, and jazz, and who made her Broadway debut in 2012 as Bess in the Tony Award–winning revival of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess.
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Alica Hall Moran in New York Times

'Breaking Ice' Makes Music From a Classic Skating Rivalry


A singer's natural home is on the stage. But the vocalist and composer Alicia Hall Moran's newest piece lives on the rink. Ms. Hall Moran's undefinable "Breaking Ice: The Battle of the Carmens" finds its inspiration in figure skating history, and the work will have its premiere in the midst of public skating sessions at Bryant Park on Jan. 11 and Riverbank State Park on Jan. 14, as part of the Prototype festival of new music theater.
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Alicia Hall Moran's Unbound Musical Modernism

Village Voice, By Larry Blumenfeld

At January's Prototype Festival, singer and composer Alicia Hall Moran laced up ice skates and took to the Bryant Park rink to perform. Her original piece, Breaking Ice: The Battle of the Carmens, premiered during public skating sessions and included taiko drummer Kaoru Watanabe and jazz saxophonist Maria Grand in hockey penalty boxes. Its title referred to the 1988 Winter Olympics, where American figure skater Debi Thomas and a German, Katarina Witt, each skated programs to music from Bizet's classic opera Carmen.
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On Broken Ice With Alicia Hall Moran

ECM Reviews, By Tyran Grillo

On 11 January 2018, singer Alicia Hall Moran took to the Bank of America Winter Village Rink in New York City as part of the 2018 Prototype Festival to stage her latest vocal experience. Breaking Ice examines the mythology behind what came to be known as the "Battle of the Carmens," when skaters Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas coincidentally chose Bizet's Carmen as the music for their long routines at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
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Jazz and triple axels in new alt opera at Mass MoCA

The Berkshire Eagle, By Benjamin Cassidy

The story of two figure skaters in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics battling for the Olympic Gold has inspired mezzo-soprano and former figure skater Alicia Hall Moran to create an alt-opera, "Breaking Ice: The Battle of the Carmens," which she's been working on with the New York jazz trio "Harriet Tubman," during a residency at Mass MoCA. The work-in-development will be performed Saturday in Mass MoCA's Hunter Center.
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NY1, By Stephanie Simon

The frigid cold didn't stop rehearsals for two daring outdoor performances by opera singer Alicia Hall Moran. In fact, the icy cold made perfect sense. NY1 Arts and culture reporter Stephanie Simon has the story.
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