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.