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Your Reaction: Carmen 2015

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

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

20 October 2015 at 10.26am | 10 Comments

Press reviews:
Express ★★★★
Guardian ★★★
The Stage ★★★
What's On Stage ★★★
Financial Times ★★★
Bachtrack ★★★
Music OMH ★★★

What did you think of Carmen? Let us know via the comments below.

Carmen runs until 30 November 2015. Tickets are still available.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

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

20 October 2015 at 10.26am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Bryan Hymel, by Francesca Zambello, Carmen, Elena Maximova, Nicole Car, Production, review, Social Media, twitter, your reaction

This article has 10 comments

  1. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 20 October 2015 at 5:04pm Reply

    What an operatic treat ! A fantastic production with a fantastic cast and conductor. It makes SUCH a difference to hear "Carmen " in French .Bravo to all concerned!

  2. Coppelia responded on 20 October 2015 at 9:23pm Reply

    Flashbacks to playing Bizet's Carmen in my school orchestra had always tarnished my enjoyment of this opera but any fear of overfamiliarity was swept away by this very enjoyable and engaging production. Vinogradov and Nicole Car were amazing and loved the bull fighter costumes!

  3. David responded on 22 October 2015 at 11:06am Reply

    Who could ask for more, great voices, great set and music we all know well.
    Visually Beautiful

  4. michael responded on 23 October 2015 at 11:11am Reply

    Absolutely amazing. The Cast & Orchestra were superb. Set was perfect. The only down part was my hands were sore after my enthusiastic applauding at the end. I guess I'm going to have to take my Mother to see it now.

  5. Antony Skrepetos responded on 25 October 2015 at 10:28pm Reply

    It's been 24 hours since I watched Carmen on 24 Oct and I still can't recover from the thrill. What an amazing production! Congratulations to Ms Zambello and everybody who worked for this production, Ms Car was absolutely magnificent, thank you ROH for this performance.

  6. francois responded on 28 October 2015 at 10:09pm Reply

    This revival has been very carefully refreshed and rehearsed: All ensemble are perfectly directed and the whole production works very well despite it is a "routine" revival. Musically and theatrically I found the principals not really at the level of what one would expect from a ROH performance - except the excellent Escamillo from Vinogradov-, but on the other hand the smaller characters were absolutely outstanding, from the excellent Nicolas Courjal (Zuniga) to the amazingly charismatic and beautifully singing Samuel Dale Johnson (Morales) and Vlada Borovko (Frasquita). Johnson and Borovko both follow the Jette Parker Program and are more than good singers, they literally shine on stage! That was quite a big surprise to me, I've never seen such brilliant interpretations of Morales and Frasquita.

  7. Giles Brady responded on 5 November 2015 at 7:51pm Reply

    Going to the Royal Opera always makes for a great evening and last night was no exception. It was a colourful and exotic occasion but not really because of the stage. Some say the set captures the sultry heat of Spain. I suggest that the set and costumes were brown, minimalist and yet more brown. It reminded me of my school stage in the 1960s.Thank goodness for Escamillo's colourful torero costumes.
    Thank goodness, also, for Alexander Vinogradov who plays Escamillo and has a fantastic bass voice. He and Nicole Car, who plays Micaela, were a pleasure to listen to and I understood their French. I'm not sure I could understand Elena Maximova's mezzo-soprano French accent at all .But maybe I'm too strong a fan of the Brazilian Carmen Monarcha!
    Last point! Please could the main arias be performed centre-stage, rather than on the far right. Those of us on the right side of the auditorium were straining for a view all evening....

  8. James Gordon responded on 16 November 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

    Like, I imagine, a large proportion of the audience on Saturday night and an even larger proportion of those responsible for the scatter of empty seats, I booked this performance hoping to see Jonas Kaufmann’s Don José. Andrea Carè is very different from Kaufmann. His interpretation was more conventional, but none the worse for this. Despite the late cast change, there was real interaction between him and Anita Rachvelishvili’s Carmen. (Or, where necessary, non-interaction: as it should, his Flower Song moved everyone in the house except the person it was addressed to.) As a bonus, Carè is the first Italian tenor I have ever heard singing intelligible French.

    Good Carmens are more numerous than good Josés. Carmen is an extrovert and nearly all her set pieces are songs performed to other people on stage. Rachvelishvili exploits this to the full, yet manages the switch of a moment to fatalistic interiority in the Card Scene to powerful effect. Outside the bull ring, she was more visibly nervy than most Carmens as she waited for José. But then, two days previously, she had expected to be waiting for Kaufmann…

    Sonya Yoncheva impressed as Micaëla, injecting real drama into her big solo. Hers is a more powerful voice than we often hear in this part, more of a match for Carmen. The smaller roles were all done well, Samuel Dale Johnson’s Morales standing out among them.

    The production is wonderful to look at, too much so at times. Its hyper-realistic re-creation of the constant bustle of public spaces in Seville entails a constant danger of upstaging the principals. Children, animals, cripples, beggars, gypsies, hawkers and acrobats compete for attention, even at moments when the stage is customarily empty of all except the main singers. The chorus and extras evidently relish the opportunities afforded by these vignettes. So it is all the more extraordinary that this production cuts the first section of the final act, depriving us not just of more spectacle, but of the necessary relaxation of dramatic tension before the final confrontation. Ironically, Escamillo’s horseback entrance makes him less, not more impressive. Forced to sing the first stanza and refrain of the Toreador’s Song sitting motionless on his mount, Gabor Bretz is prevented from matching the piece’s vocal athleticism with physical swagger.

    From the first bars of the prelude, Alexander Joel took the score at a frenetic pace. At times, too much so for the singers, who were left struggling to keep up.

    The reinstituted bag search at the door, presumably a kneejerk reaction to events in Paris, was risible. Someone in a red uniform looked cursorily inside my bag, but no attention was paid to what may have been concealed on my (or anyone else’s) person. Never mind a solitary Don José or Ankarström; a whole chorus of armed conspirators could have got in without the least difficulty. (Please note this is not a call for airport-style security in the foyer.)

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 24 November 2015 at 3:14pm

      Hi James,

      I've passed your comments about our search policy back to the Front of House team.


      ROH Content Producer

  9. I am retired now,but for me this is the best production ever! The choice of cast and lighting etc. were superb. I hope they will put out a DVD in the future.

    Best wishes for a happy and healthy future.

    Yours, Rainer

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