Carmen On Screen From Opéra Bastille

Elīna Garanča (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José)
Elīna Garanča (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José)

The role of Carmen is sung by brilliant mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča making one of the greatest entrances in the history of opera and expressing all that need be said: “Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame…”  The beautiful cigar-maker sets her sights on a soldier: Don José, sung by Roberto Alagna. Fate will do the rest…

Though immediately regarded as a masterpiece throughout Europe, it took time for Carmen to win acceptance in Paris where it received a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1875. Composed to a libretto by Meilhac and Halévy based on Prosper Mérimée’s novella, the opera exploded the boundaries between tragedy and comedy with a modernity that caused a scandal at the time. The fiery beauty of Bizet’s music, where one unforgettable aria follows another, has mesmerised audiences, making it one of the world’s most performed operas.

Carmen’s irrepressible freedom, coupled with a need to live ever more intensely on a knife-edge, is expressed in Calixto Bieito’s production. She retains her Andalusian character and the temperament of a woman who lives by small-time trafficking. However, the rebel bird is essentially a creature of our own times. A brazen and indomitable seductress and a product of social and masculine brutality, she lives life in the fast lane. Sir Mark Elder conducts.

Cast and Creatives: Conductor – Sir Mark Elder/ Orchestra -Orchestre de l’Opera national de Paris/Composer -Georges Bizet
Cast: Elīna Garanča (Carmen), Roberto Alagna (Don José), Maria Agresta (Micaëla), Ildar Abdrazakov (Escamillo), Vannina Santoni (Frasquita), Antoinette Dennefeld (Mercédès)
Director -Calixto Bieito/ Set Design – Alfons Flores/
Sung in French, with English subtitles/ Captured live from the Opéra Bastille, Paris 16 July 2017


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