Friday, April 15, 2016

Bizet’s Carmen (1978)

One of the world’s most beloved operas is the four-act Carmen by Georges Bizet [1838–75], with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, itself based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. (The synopsis can be found here.) When the opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on March  3,1875, it was poorly received, it straying too far from the conventional tastes of Parisians. The opera fared better in Vienna and elsewhere, including London and New York, thus becoming an international success. Bizet, however, never saw its success, having died on June 3rd, despondent of his creative failure. He was 36.

Here is the 1978 Franco Zeffirelli production, directed by Brian Large and conducted by Carlos Kleiber, in front of the Vienna Staatsoper (the Vienna State Opera) on December 9, 1978. Kleiber rarely conducted opera, so this is a special treat. The opera’s chief characters are as follows:

Don José: Plácido Domingo
Carmen: Elena Obraztsova
Escamillo: Yuri Mazurok
Micaela: Isobel Buchanan

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.