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Your reaction: Carmen

What did you think of Francesca Zambello's production of Bizet's classic opera?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

17 December 2013 at 10.01am | 16 Comments

What did you think of Carmen?

Carmen runs from 16 December 2013-9 January 2014. Advance tickets are sold out, but a limited number of day tickets will be available from 10am at the Box Office on the day of performance.

The production is staged with the generous philanthropic support of Dr and Mrs Michael West, Yvonne and Bjarne Rieber and the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

17 December 2013 at 10.01am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Francesca Zambello, Carmen, Production, review, Social Media, twitter, your reaction

This article has 16 comments

  1. anachronism responded on 17 December 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

    Such a wonderful night. I didn't expect Carmen can be so moving opera. Particularly Alagna was just unbelievable. He gave depth to the character and I saw a very tragic story about Don Jose last night...such a poor guy Jose...even when I knew the story, I still wished Carmen would change her mind at last. Such a heartbreaking moment. I would never forget this very moving Carmen performance...

  2. Aleta responded on 22 December 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

    Saw Carmen last night - Christine Rice and Sarah Fox were excellent but Yonghoon Lee's Don Jose absolutely stole the show!

  3. Nick Wellings responded on 22 December 2013 at 6:58pm Reply

    I agree, Aleta. I saw the same performance. Lee was on fine form.

  4. Geoff Nicholls responded on 23 December 2013 at 10:53am Reply

    Thanks for a great afternoon at the ROH Sunday. Saw Anita Rachvelishvili and Roberto Alagna in Carmen. Wonderful.

  5. Steven Haigh responded on 23 December 2013 at 7:58pm Reply

    Saw Carmen Saturday evening. Spellbinding, fantastic a real treat. Both Rice and Lee were superb

  6. Richard Smither. responded on 5 January 2014 at 5:29pm Reply

    Yonghoon Lee was incredible. What a voice!

  7. Martin Wainwright responded on 6 January 2014 at 8:56am Reply

    As a committed Puccini man, I was initially skeptical about the Carmen I saw on Saturday night, but I was wrong. What a performance! Fabulous vocal and acting performances from Yonghoon Lee and Christine Rice (better than Anne Sofie von Otter for my money) with a special wow for Rachel Kelly who attacked her minor part with convincing gypsy guts as well as beautiful pianissimi notes. Tremendous production.

  8. David Glynn responded on 7 January 2014 at 1:18am Reply

    WHY was a major number, the opening chorus of Act 4, cut? Could we please have an answer?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 17 January 2014 at 3:47pm

      Hi David,

      We’ve had the following response from Antonio Pappano:

      ‘I am not the first conductor to have come up with the idea of tightening the drama here; that is, to go from the end of the prelude to the beginning of the procession. Carmen is an opera that has had many versions over its history, not just dialogue/no dialogue, recitative/no recitative, or a mixture of the two.

      The fact that the piece is written using the structure of what we today recognise as a musical, leaves room for some shaping from the interpreters. I have often included music that was never ever heard in the performing version of Carmen that was played for most of the 20th century. I just believe that a number mainly about oranges - ebullient as it is - right before a pageant and the all-important final confrontation is redundant and not particularly theatrical. I have conducted the piece many times and have come to this conclusion about Act 4. This certainly is not the only way to do it!‘


      ROH Content Producer

  9. Matteo S. responded on 9 January 2014 at 9:02pm Reply

    I'm not sure Alagna made the right choice when he decided to sing today even if he's sick. Anyway bravo (for the courage) and good luck for the second part of the show!

  10. Maria Maher responded on 10 January 2014 at 11:57am Reply

    When Kasper Holten came on stage before the performance, my first thought was 'I'm not surprised'. Please please please stop booking Alagna. After his embarrassing performance in Elisir d'amore last year, I thought I would give him another chance. This was the last time. His voice is gone and he makes up for it with excellent acting, but that is not enough.

    Oren's conducing and the orchestra, Vito Priante as an excellent Escamillo and Veronica Cangemi as Michela were the highlights of the evening.

    • Hercule Savinien responded on 12 January 2014 at 8:37pm

      Maria, I completely disagree when you are writing that his voice is gone (numerous comments on this page, on youtube, on facebook and reviewers will corroborate). But above all, your first comment is a proof of your bias. What are you suggesting by writing you were not surprised? That he is used to be ill? It is a non sense and so unfair for the great and reknowned tenor he is. Ill, he made a huge effort to give all to his audience this evening, regardless of his pain and the risks taken. He is one of the singer whose cancellations are the rarest. Many singers are ill, that's life, Anna Netrebko for instance cancelled her performances recently, others are requiring the indulgence of the audience also when needed. Besides, despite his chest cold, Mr Alagna performed a fantastic Don José tonight, with a forcefull voice, without any fault, and thrilling the audience with emotion. I also really appreciated his play and singing last year in "L'elisir d'Amore" and will be very pleased to be there and hear him in May in Tosca. So ROH, please please don't pay attention to such unkind and pointless comments, and keep on booking him if you want to avoid that the international audience neglects your theater in favour of other great houses to hear him worldwide!

  11. kikiduv responded on 12 January 2014 at 10:27pm Reply

    I do not understand why we can say words as malicious about someone who sings the role of Don José tough by being diseased and for the last three performances. You have the chance to hear the best Don José exists. All world scenes requested in this role as his vocal and theatrical interpretation are beautiful.
    I can not let you say such words about one of the best heavyweights in the world. And I advise you to come see him in La Tosca next May, you will hear and see the only credible Mario now.

  12. GEORGE BARRET responded on 12 January 2014 at 10:48pm Reply

    I suppose that if Roberto Alagna had done what the ROH proposed to him, i.e. just mimic his role on stage while a cover was singing backstage, you would probably have been more satisfied? You should better instead praise his courage, for giving the best of himself whereas he was sick, opera singers are not robots. Judging them negatively when an infection is decreasing their vocal abilities, and not so often when they are fine, is particulartly unfair. It seems fortunately that you only represent a small minority of the audience, considering the applause and ovation he received. I also find it odd that no one is expressing congratulations towards Anna Caterina Antonacci who has been a very great Carmen.

  13. Bianca Castafiore responded on 12 January 2014 at 11:11pm Reply

    I attend Carmen's performance on 6th January. Zambello's set seemed interesting to me, creating beautiful scenes, although it remains not so challenging and innovative compared to Bieto's one, except the beginning which shows Don José in jail. Vito Priante and the friendly Veronica Cangemi will not leave me a lasting lyric memory. Anna Caterina Antonnacci is a beautiful Carmen. To hell with big voices! Her is clear, nimble, her diction is accurate and suitable. She has an incredible presence that focuses attention. Her outstanding class prevents her from falling into the common clichés. Complicity with Roberto Alagna is obvious. Roberto Alagna gave us a Don José full of finesse, as usual. He flew over the pitfalls of this demanding score. Despite his fiever and cough, his voice remained light in Part 1. His high C was well placed and broad. He was more embarrassed by his tracheitis in Part 2 . Roberto Alagna has courage, he is made up of courage. That 's it! We know it for a long time. He touched the limit of his strength. He offered us with Anna Caterina Antonacci, a breathtaking final . ROH thank you for allowing us to hear the encourter of these two great singers.

  14. Kirstie Phipps responded on 14 January 2014 at 12:41am Reply

    Thank you Roberto Alagna and Anna Caterina Antonacci for an entirely satisfactory and hugely enjoyable evening. Alagna was courageous and gallant, so grateful he forced himself to sing for the last night in spite of illness ( incidentally I thought he was a superb Nemorino in l'Elisir). His magnificent voice carried him through and his acting was moving. Antonacci tremendous, as expected. And Veronica Cangemi as Michaela was an absolute REVELATION - a voice of such sweetness and beauty.

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