Cher Public

The smooth and the rough

Snippet from yesterday’s Carmen telecast.

  • Carmen as opera-comique as Bizet surely intended. Of course, it can only be done in a small to medium sized theatre.

    Here’s the beautiful choreography for Danse Boheme

    • manou

      Thank you for reminding me of this -- it was a very successful production. I saw it again a couple of years ago with a completely forgettable cast which I have completely forgotten -- not a patch on the original. It is amazing that the principals could make such a difference

      • manou
        • Buster

          Manou: Tania Kross is a serious artist. Her Baba the Turk was great! In the old David Hockney sets from Glyndebourne.

      • Thanks manou. Thing is, MacVickar makes Me believe that these are geniune characters up there onstage, instead of the usual stock characters. I’m sick of Carmen as a skirt-flapping, chest notes pushing hussy. Von Otter made the character absolutely original, with a sense of humour, rather a dark one at that. The first two acts were made to sound almost like La Perichole, as surely they must be, turn of tide happening in the card scene. And there Von Otter was magnificent -- instead of showing off her lower register as most mezzos will, she spun a wonderful legato and interesting dynamics. She made the words matter. Very unusual but personal and therefore riveting. It’s a way of doing it and a thought-provoking reading of the role.

        • MontyNostry

          Maybe surprisingly, Bumbry is a very subtle Carmen in the Karajan DVD (mid-European pseudo-Hispanic kitsch though much of the production is). She’s sexy, but cool and has a sense of humour. And she’s pretty scary when she’s angry. And, of course, twice as much voice as von Otter, whom I found vaguely embarrassing in that Glyndebourne Carmen, though she was trying her best.

        • maddalenadicoigny

          CF- Thank you for posting this version. Otter is fantastic but one must admit that she is no ideal Carmen. Red hair? She should look at Graves.
          The dancing is an abomination though. Stomp, stomp, twist head grab skivvies? Eek. Wish someone had posted what went down at La Scala. The following GB clip is so delish.

  • Harry

    That touch in La Scala’s Carmen of her kicking over the candlestick, surely it was not meant to be symbolic of Don Jose getting prematurely aroused, and stopped …before Carmen has time to do her shimmy shake, eczema leg scratching episode.

    I know that some people find Maria Ewing irksome, but it must be said that the Glynebourne production (on video) done by then hubbie Peter Hall had some good touches. Especially notable, was the moment as Carmen glides about, outside the cigarette factory singing the Habanera moving around and through in a milling gathering. There is Don Jose attending to something, sitting at a table, totally oblivious to her, Finally he looks up and wonders why everyone’s attention in increasing numbers, are staring at him. He turns slowly and finds Carmen has stopped, and her eyes are boring straight into his back. She has found ‘her mark’. Carmen -the predator, he- now, the prey. It is the simple things gathered together that can help to make a production great.Things like character placement and movement on the stage in a scene can suggest much more than all those grandiose new wave concepts of directors with tangled but compacted spaghetti, as an excuse for brains.