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Your Reaction: What did you think of Bizet's Carmen live in cinemas?

Barrie Kosky's Royal Opera production was relayed live around the world.

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

6 March 2018 at 10.38pm | 197 Comments

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

If you experienced technical issues during this live cinema relay, please email details to

The next Royal Opera House live cinema relay of 2017/18 will be The Royal Ballet's Bernstein Centenary celebration on 27 March 2018. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

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

6 March 2018 at 10.38pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Barrie Kosky, Carmen, cinema, Production, review, your reaction

This article has 197 comments

  1. Teresa Shipley responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:08pm Reply

    Amazing, an absolute blockbuster of a production. Superb singing, exciting dancing and the whole beautifully executed to produce a performance that I will never forget. #royaloperahouse

  2. Penny Murchison responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:14pm Reply

    Brilliant priduction, shame we had a break in transmission in Herne Bay, but luckly only for 19 mins.
    Still we thoroughly enjoyed it.
    But when can get get AD for blind customers?
    My husband misses all the action.

  3. Jane Combes responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:15pm Reply

    Carmen was wonderful production, though I thought the stage setting was somewhat spartan and chorus would have been better served with more lighting, and apart from Carmen superb costume at the entrance there was a distinct lack of colour in the costumes . Especially liked the humour at the finale to break the spell of all that drama and emotion .

  4. Carol responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:17pm Reply

    Absolutely fabulous .. My first time of actually watching in the cinema .. I love love loved it .. Well done everyone xxx

  5. Melanie Ruse responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:18pm Reply

    Absolutely amazing. What a creative performance, loved the dance the staging but none of it detracted from the superb voices.

  6. Michael Gowers responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:23pm Reply

    Mmmmmarvellous, minimal set, fabulous voices, rearranged perfectly, def go see

  7. David Godfrey responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:25pm Reply

    No atmosphere. No passion.No scenery.No connection between the characters.
    Michaels and the orchestra were great. Why portray Carmen as a. Cold ice maiden?

  8. Elsie Richardson responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:33pm Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed this exciting new production - singers and dancers incredible. Just one query: why, oh why the gorilla suit? Can anyone please explain?

    • Damian Whiteley responded on 8 March 2018 at 1:21am

      The gorilla suit is presumably a reference to Marlene Dietrich in the film Blonde Venus.

  9. Patricia Muirhead responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:38pm Reply

    Excellent Production. Very clever, and innovative. Still fabulous Bizet.

  10. Ines Hempel responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:40pm Reply

    who were the dancers in this production of Carmen?

  11. Angry Allan responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:52pm Reply

    I can't believe this performance was allowed to be screened in my local theatre , I'm left amazed at the greyness of this slaughter of the original . Presenting Carmen as a Gorilla was not clever. I wasn't sure weather to laugh cry or retire to the bar ! Please ban this fool from directing any more beautiful opera , I was disgusted at the time but laughed all the way home .Not what I'd hoped for .

    • Susan Reid-Povall responded on 8 March 2018 at 11:14am

      I have never seen Carmen before so have nothing to compare it with but I agree with a lot of what you say. In particular the 'mix' of dance styles and constant jigging about of the chorus seemed unnecessary and just for the sake of doing something different. And HOW the stage set passed Health and Safety I just don't know. The singing was superb, though.

    • Judith H, Edinburgh responded on 12 March 2018 at 12:26pm

      I totally agree with Angry Allan. The production was a self indulgent and immature one. I am not against the idea of experimenting with opera, but neither am I stupid - requiring breaks in the story to explain what is going on (after all this is one of the best known operas, isn't it? - and there are sub titles.) I would have loved to have heard the singing rather than feet pattering up and down the set. There are references to colour but where was it? Carmen appearing in a gorilla suit? I also thought is was not well cast. Walked out at the interval. Thank goodness for the Met.

  12. Susie Mc responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:57pm Reply

    Wow I absolutely loved it. I have seen the classic Carmen many times but loved this brave interpretation. The simple static set and mainly black costumes pulled all the focus back to the music words and magnificent voices of the cast. The dancers were mesmerising and the lack of synchronicity with the movement of the chorus was genius. The Gorilla suit moment was quite surprising and could have been a huge distraction but I interpreted that as her strength independence and wildness. Bravo loved it thank you for a brilliant evening

    • Mary M O'Sullivan responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:42am

      I agree with everything that Susie said Carmen was brilliant this coming from a traditionalist. One thing just like Otello the stage is to dark please pay the electric bill. Thanks to ROH for the live relays to Cinemas of Opera's and Ballet's - I attend them all. Due to sever weather conditions Winters Tale Ballet was not shown in Mahon Point Cinema Cork last Wednesday hoping it can be relayed later in the year.
      Thanks again to ROH
      Mary M O'Sullivan
      Cork Ireland

  13. Blanca Saez de Jauregui responded on 6 March 2018 at 11:59pm Reply

    Brave and daring production. Fantastic in every aspect. I enjoyed every minute. Sincere congratulations to whole team!!!

  14. Tish Dunleavy responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:05am Reply

    Amazing production of Carmen tonight seen live at the Cinema in Carrick On Shannon, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Loved every bit of it

  15. Anne Keating responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:07am Reply

    It’s midnight and I’m wide awake and reliving the performance of Carmen at Everyman, Gerrards Cross.earlier. What an incredible version. I’d read a review last week and wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. Was I wrong! Every bit as good as being in the theatre too. Well done Barrie Kosky and ROH.

  16. Tish Dunleavy responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:08am Reply

    Bravo to all the member of ROH London! Superb production of Carmen. Really loved it. The dancers were fantastic too and Barry was so wise to insist of the movements by the cast were out of sync to avoid boring the audience! Well done.......

  17. Jo responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:10am Reply

    First ever Opera for me, absolutely fabulous. Thoroughly enjoyed it and delighted to recommend this performance

  18. Martin Hendriks responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:12am Reply

    geweldige opera ! wat een spectakel heb gennoten !

  19. Frank Cadam responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:14am Reply

    Stunning performance...really amazing...well done everyone
    The narration a little bit distracting !..

  20. Christine Mitchell responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:20am Reply

    Absolutely fantastic, watched it at the Curzon Cinema in Knutsford. So much going on and the music and singing were stunning.

  21. Tina Clements responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:32am Reply

    No can't agree . Open to different productions but music played second fiddle to poor staging and awful lighting. Excellent singers lost in a production that lacked cohesion

    • Patricia Brattle responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:30pm

      I agree with you Tina........I really tried to like it but found it full of unnecessary gimmicks and distractions

  22. Alyson George responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:55am Reply

    Phenomenal! Best Carmen I have ever seen! Just brilliant imagining. Fantastic performances.. stunning choreography (especially the 6 x 'Triple Threat' dancers.. just speechless!
    And Carmen herself... perfect!

  23. Marian Tindale responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:13am Reply

    Really enjoyed this production-fresh, engaging and thought-provoking. Excellent performances from singers and dancers; ROH Chorus excelled themselves.

  24. Mrs Giulia Breakwell responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:21am Reply

    I only stayed for half an hour!
    I disliked the set, the lack of colour, the ridiculous outfit Carmen was wearing and the fact that it seemed more like a modern ballet than a scene where you could sit back and be transported and uplifted by beautiful costumes and the wonderful music.

  25. Frederick Artesani responded on 7 March 2018 at 3:55am Reply

    A daring gamble that should become a classic in its own right. Against my prejudices and aprehensiones I absolutely loved it. This production actually enhances the musical score by making the music itself take shape on stage: through choreography, through light, through body language. Psychological portraits are drawn with depth under the apparent light touch of cabaret. Just one fixed set of stairs... and it works! All the magic of Carmen unfolds: love, power play, desire, transgression, obsession, manipulation. Unthinkable scenes (Escamillo’s star appearance, the interplay between the admiring lusty men and the cigarrette makers, Carmen’s first appearance) dig deep into the text and make you think after the initial shock. Such a clever and unique staging. Some innovations at the ROH (Don Giovanni, Macbeth) I have resented... but this is a thumbs up!

  26. David Garman responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:08am Reply

    A triumph, fantastic.evey segment especially the chorus. Having read the reviews I was prepared to be disappointed I wasn’t not for a sing moment.

  27. Russell Miller responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:14am Reply

    I hated it; couldn't wait to leave at the interval. And what was that gorilla all about? Absurd.

  28. Jill Bourchier responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:30am Reply

    Absolutely loved not! Musical theatre at its best - please, please let us have an Encore production as I would absolutely love to watch it again - or a filmed version, perhaps?
    Anna Goryachova outplayed any other Carmens that I've seen - brilliant.

  29. roger aves responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:34am Reply

    #ROHCarmen Sorry #rohcarmen sorry don't like the modern twist and no sets
    It's drab
    whats with the gorilla? and the madonna frock at then end #hetripped
    and the munchkins from wind in the willows on acid?
    Great artists and music though

  30. Verity Saunders responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:40am Reply

    Brilliant - absolutely loved it.

  31. David Grindley responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:42am Reply

    The beauty of the cinema is that you get a close up of the performers and their facial expressions.
    Sound quality is good.
    Very good performance and interpretation of Carmen.

  32. Martin Byrne responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:47am Reply

    What a wonderful,surprising, terrific production. Outstanding performances all round. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  33. Pat Worthington responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:53am Reply

    Love live streaming of theatre that many of us could never experience in person - great singing but gimmicky muddled production – cast sometimes clearly uncomfortable negotiating steep stairway, Carmen’s cloak a definite trip hazard and some members of my audience made a break for freedom in the interval – quite a few empty seats in the second half

  34. Roger Simpson responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:57am Reply

    A most remarkable imaginative performance.
    Congratulations to the Director and the ROH

  35. Judith Turner responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:05am Reply

    After a good nights sleep and with my objective hat on, and a dash of soul searching I did enjoy it. It would appeal to the younger newcomer and in the hope of encouraging this genre. I missed the colour red! Not sure about the Gorilla!!!.
    Carmen was outstanding.

  36. Sue woodhousr responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:07am Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed last nights performance streamed to the odeon cinema Trowbridge.
    Different to the traditional version, although lacking the vibrant colour I’m used to, the performance more than made up for the sets.
    I lean towards ballet rather than opera but found this version of Carmen kept me enthralled.
    There is one costume that was quite honestly unnecessary but I won’t spoil the surprise.
    Brilliant night

  37. Maria responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:08am Reply

    The performers were excellent, loved the chorus, and the dancing, but hated the set - felt the stairs hampered rather than enhanced, flattened the action and took the heart out of the music.

  38. Carole Gennings responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:14am Reply

    We also walked out in the interval worst production of Carmen seen by us

  39. Rosa Somerville responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:21am Reply

    I have never seen a Carmen so well acted, sung and danced. the score really sparkled. The unusual staging and brilliant dancing made me really listen and enjoy Bizet's lyrical and imaginative scoring for the orchestra. the narration and the characterisation brought out the relationships clearly. And only one cigarette! Yet we were in Seville.Five stars. I'd love to see it again.

    • Lydia Thomas responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:15pm

      I have watched this opera numerous times over the past 50 years, this one was wonderful, it was ALIVE the use of the staircase was inspired, thank you to all concerned. Watched by me in Spain in a packed cinema.

    • Lesley Glover responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:23pm

      Agree with Betty's comments, especially about being ready to embrace new experiences. So lucky to have these wonderful live screenings, with close ups, thank you ROH for all the ballet too. Fabulous, surprising production which I enjoyed so much. Narration inspired, AG, 2 female co stars, dancers, chorus and orchestra outstanding. Thank you to all

  40. Derek Keilty responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:26am Reply

    My first time seeing Carmen and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. The singers, dancers, chorus were all amazing and Anna was superb as Carmen.

  41. Tony Deacon responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:31am Reply

    An interesting production, for sure. Can anyone tell me what the gorilla suit was all about -or did I dream that bit? I found some of the movement (the hand flapping of the factory girls) rather distracting, even tiresome.
    I can't agree with Barry Kosky's comment that traditional Carmen stagings of 'outside the cigarette factory' and 'in the mountains' are kitsch. That's where the story is set!

  42. Luxmi responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:33am Reply

    We were at the ROH for Saturday's performance, having looked forward to it for months. We had seats in the box to the left of the stage. The stage set was dull and very disappointing. Most of the 'action' took place to the far left of stage so we didn't see about 70% of the important scenes... including the final murder scene! Extremely annoying. It was probably better to watch it at the cinema, although, overall I hated the production so would probably not bother. The orchestra, children and dancers were the only saving grace, the rest mediocre to dire. I didn't understand the need for the gorilla suit!

  43. Sandra Martin responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:34am Reply

    Carmen was my first experience of a professional opera. I loved the whole performance. At times I was holding my breath at the wonder of it all. The set in some ways was simple but wow it worked so well. Everyone involved was fabulous. Thank you Royal Opera. I saw this production at cinema in Edinburgh.

  44. C Harvey responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:36am Reply

    Dreadful set.Performance lacked colour and passion. No fire No joy. Walked out at Interval.

    • Bob Anderson responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:49am

      At least the director was consistent. The gorilla scene was awful, and it just continued in like vein. I hate to be critical of a guy doing his job, but this production sucked, for me, all enjoyment out of the opera.

  45. Helene responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:40am Reply

    I wanted to like this production but I ddn’t. I think Barrie Kosky presented us with something that was not quite “Cabaret” and certainly not “Carmen”. The result was that it ended up being less than the sum of it’s parts and far too long.

  46. Jill Bourchier responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:45am Reply

    Absolutely loved this production. Musical theatre at its very best - please, please let us have an Encore showing as I would absolutely love to watch it again Anya Goryachova was supreme - the best Carmen that I've ever seen - many, man thanks.

  47. Ally Stirk responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:50am Reply

    Loved it - so different. Great staging.

  48. Peter Marten responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:51am Reply

    Anna Goryachova's voice has a magnificent quality. Praise stops there. Whereas previously streamed operas from the Met were met with full houses and enthusiastic responses, the audience for Carmen was sparse and a number of these left during the performance. A shame - probably the worst production of Carmen I have experienced - a Producer's vanity transcending Bizet's work.

    • Margaret Cummins responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:25pm

      Agree with this comment. Several people left our cinema too - only to be expected when they expected colour and some sort of backdrop. Production went on too long but was somewhat saved by last 20 minutes. Will do more research before going to next opera at the cinema.

    • Susan Morris responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:41pm

      I so agree with you. Decent singing, appalling production - and I saw the first night live.

  49. Carolyn Purchon responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:52am Reply

    Fabulous way to reach a wider audience. Loved the authentic production. Outstanding performance by all with humour and drama.

  50. Natalie Mylozis responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:52am Reply

    Brilliant performance, first time watching a live opera on the screen...almost felt like we were there at the Royal Opera House.

    Sadly it was through the misfortune of my Grandmother being unwell and not being able to attend, that I received the tickets. I'm hoping there is a recording available on DVD, which I could give them, could anyone advise me please as to where I could purchase one?

    Thank you.

  51. Sue Austin responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:53am Reply

    What a magical interpretation of Carmen I loved it. So lively and enthralling the cast were having a ball. The singing was beautiful and the stark staging worked so well. The opera is what we come to see not all the backdrop. Brava!

  52. Sally Harnett responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:55am Reply

    No convincing stage design, all grey and black with too few spots of colour, too little stage lighting, very odd rushing up and down the silly steps, but very enjoyable music. Sorry, only 3 out 10 for this, so disappointing compared with the many Carmens I've seen, both amateur and professional.

  53. Iris responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:56am Reply

    Best production of Carmen I have ever seen! Congratulations!

  54. Diana Walsh responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:58am Reply

    There is only one word to describe this production of Carmen - sensational!

  55. Chris Bradley responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:59am Reply

    That is the first time I have seen Carmen without being excited by it. It seemed to go on for ever. The main problem was the set which consisted of a huge staircase that filled the stage. This made it look two dimensional and it appeared that the performers were walking on stage doing their bit and walking off. There was no story. The singers and orchestra were great, the production not.

  56. Andy Beech responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:06am Reply

    I have seen ten productions of Carmen since 1994. This was exciting - brilliant -exhilarating - wonderful. Will it ever be bettered? Probably not in my life time.
    Thank you ROH for broadcasting this fabulous production of my favourite opera.

  57. Sarah-Jane Burt responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:07am Reply

    A very different production of Carmen. Enjoyed it immensely however I did miss the "colour" I am used to in the costumes.

    Took my 11 year old. I think she would have enjoyed more "traditional" Carmen better.

    That said the performers did an amazing job.

  58. MARTA GARCIA GARRALON responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:12am Reply

    Didn't like at all. The essence of the opera has been lost. This wasn't Merimé"s thoughts but something that tries to be modern and does not really hit. A pity

  59. Bettydboy responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:19am Reply

    Musicians, singers and dancers all brilliant but staging and lighting rather suspect. I would have preferred a more traditional approach with much more colour in set and costume. 7/10.

  60. Brenda Blissett responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:20am Reply

    CHEAP. Awful production. Boring black flat pack stairs the whole evening.

  61. Ann Heaton responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:27am Reply

    The scenery was virtually non existent. Pity because the singing was superb. The gorrilla absurb.

  62. Susan Makinson responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:38am Reply

    I was disappointed and somewhat mistified as to why we needed a narrator , gorilla suit ,painted faces , long train , and dull costumes .The steps were an accident waiting to happen .

  63. Rolf Richardson responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:58am Reply

    Every director wants to put his personal imprint on a production and Barrie Kosky certainly did that. Not sure that I was totally sold on the huge staircase idea, but it was certainly different. I liked the spoken French dialogue (with subtitles) rather than the recitative. Carmen was superb, Jose and Michaela excellent, Escamillo one of the poorest I've seen. Chorus were magnificent and the orchestra had a drive and intensity that reminded me of the glory days of Solti - can't give
    higher praise that that.

  64. Philippa responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:59am Reply

    Too much ludicrous gyrating around in the first two acts, all distracting and detracting from the and singing which is so beautiful that it does not require such unecessary enhancement. As for the ridiculous gorilla costume what can one say? So irritating that I almost walked out. The final act was more impressive and the fabulous dancing with capes did actully enhance the music and was appropriate unlike the earlier gyrations.

  65. John O'Connor responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:04am Reply

    Left before the interval - it was simply boring. Dancing (while good) was irrelevant to the plot and distracted. As I tweeted earlier, you need to take a lesson from the Met Opera which has just scored a winner with its current new production of Tosca replacing a production that was universally panned. Suspect this Carmen will go the same way and need to be replaced soon.

  66. MarthaF responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:09am Reply

    Fabulous evening - but it really was spoiled by showing us all the highlights of the show right at the beginning in an introduction doc. - especially the fabulous marriage gown. Let us discover Carmen on our terms not yours. I don't understand why arts broadcasting presents at the pace of the slowest viewer - otherwise loved it!

  67. Eric Bennison responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:21am Reply

    Went to Macclesfield Cinema to see this production. It may appeal to younger people,but I thought it terrible and left in the interval. Why mess with a perfect story and those poor cast having to run up and down those steps. Carmen was out of breath just before one of the arias. And the Gorilla suit beggers belief. Amen.

  68. Howard D Richards responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:22am Reply

    A refreshing production that the cast loved and enjoyed and reflected passion, high emotion and humour to the audience. Congratulation to all at the ROH. Take no notice of the old farts that don't like change.

    • Harriet Lennox responded on 8 March 2018 at 10:00am

      Gratuitous insults do not give credibility to your point of view.

  69. Raggett David responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:29am Reply

    Decided to sleep on it all and see how I felt this morning. I think my friend had it right when he said that it was like a school play when everybody has to have their moment on stage regardless of relevance to the main story.
    Love innovation and new approaches, love Busby Berkely, Michael Jackson and Weimar cabaret but all dragged in by the scruff of their collective throats. A bit too 'kids let loose in a sweetshop'. Chorus absolutely outstanding, AG a mesmeric Carmen.

  70. Lynn B responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:36am Reply

    Absolutely amazing experience. The staging/lack of colour in costumes ensured that the focus was on the beautiful singing and fantastic dancing. Very unusual and daring slant on a classic opera which worked perfectly. Brilliant.

  71. Derek Moore responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:49am Reply

    Didnt like the production at all,or the narration,which for me interfered with the flow of the music. The opera was treated as a comic opera,it isnt it is a tragic opera,all in all I found it a very dissapointing evening and I hope it does not remain too long in the company repertoire since I dont wish to see it again irrespective of who may be singing in future.

  72. B Brown responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:54am Reply

    Terrible production. Music was great and singers excellent but it was ruined by Kosky's love of stupid irrelevant gimmicks. When seeing past productions of Carmen I have never thought that what was lacking were black eyes, black scenery, steps, and gorillas.

    • Maria responded on 6 August 2018 at 10:00am

      The singing was fantastic and, had I closed my eyes through the entire time, it would have been great!.
      I fail to understand how the concept of 'Carmen' could have been construed so mistakenly.
      Very sad and disappointing.

  73. Stan Howlett responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:58am Reply

    My first 'Carmen'. !! Stunning, brilliant, a future classic production. I expected a more 'Spanish' spectacular but was intrigued by this production. It kept me riveted to my seat never the less. Only disappointment for me was the slightly portly and effeminate portrayal of Escamillo in the first act, Maybe the sound wasn't up to scratch at my cinema.
    Never the less a brilliant performance from the whole Company

  74. Ian Chard responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:02am Reply

    I usually prefer productions of plays operas etc in period but I must say that this production of Carmen was fascinating and relevant (except for the gorilla suit) to modern times. I am sure that a newcomer to opera would not be put off. Having said all this the whole thing was sustained by the mesmeric performance of Carmen by Anna Goryachova. Her acting and expressive clues added layers to the text. I saw it on screen and that helped hugely because her facial expressions could be clearly seen. I am not sure that I would have enjoyed it so much in the opera house sitting at a distance. An outstanding success!

  75. Well, it certainly provides plenty to talk about. A patchy production. Some moments of brilliance, some pure farce. One or two made me cringe

  76. vanessa responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:07am Reply

    worst production i have ever seen... this is nothing like the real carmen . if you wanted to play around and change things, don't call it carmen . very dissapointed and also nearly walked out in the interval.

  77. Anna S responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:12am Reply

    You first know you are in trouble when Carmen pops up on a staircase in a gorilla costume. There ensues a fragmented tale with not a trace of any real sexual attraction between the lovers; just a collection of pretentious set pieces on monochrome sets. I voted with my brain and went to sleep. I feel it was a valid response to a truly terrible piece of direction.

  78. Jane Donoghue responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:14am Reply

    Carmen was FABULOUS. We all know the story but this telling of it It was so unexpected that I found myself really listening to the words as if for the first time. I hope school children will get to see it. Wonderful

  79. Madeleine Winship responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:15am Reply

    I watched it at the Odeon in Kingston. I enjoyed it but missed the atmosphere of a live performance. NoOne clapped except me!
    They certainly didnt spend much on sets or costumes did they. And the noise from people bounding up and down those bloody stairs drove me mad. But the singing, acting and dancing were superb! Especially from Anna Goryachova as Carmen and Francesco Meli as Don Jose.

  80. MarianneV responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:20am Reply

    Really enjoyed this production that was staged in Frankfurt for the first time in 2016 as the opera commique version of Carmen
    Agree with the sparse staging, lighting but the essence was Carmen's story so easy to follow including the narrations in between.
    Bravo to Anna, you superstar, and all other soloists, the best, so versatile and funny esp at the end, Anna/Carmen had the last naughty laugh. Thank you ROH to let those of us who enjoyed the cinema streaming experience great close ups of actors, dancers, chorus et al.
    Please release DVD soon...

  81. Mary Whalley responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:27am Reply

    I'm sorry but I was really disappointed. The music was wonderful, but I really didn't like the staging and actually thought all those stairs could be an accident waiting to happen. Carmen should be colourful ("red & orange") and not so dark that half the time we couldn't see what was going on. I do realise that one can't have the same old production all the time, but this was just not right.

  82. Paul Moore responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:29am Reply

    AG sensational. Chorus too. The power of the original opera burst through what must be a practical joke. Setting Carmen on the stairs! Painting some faces white. A gorilla suit. Dark and black black black everywhere. I suppose it saved on costly sets.
    The old Monty Python sketches kept coming to mind.

  83. Norman Smalldridge responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:39am Reply

    I saw the ROH Carmen in the cinema last night. It was the worst performance imaginable. The puerile attempt by Barrie Kosky to inject comedy into the opera by infantile writhing, grimmacing and maniacal laughter totally destroyed any drama in an opera which is about seduction, love, infatuation, disappointment and tragedy. The appearance of Carmen in a gorilla costume in what should be her first entrance was inexplicable and destroyed the succeeding habanera which is one of the highlights of the opera. The dialogue was distracting, destroying any flow in the action, the additional music was rightly discarded by Bizet as unnecessary and substandard, the constant clattering over the staircase masked the music, the staircase was visibly dangerous (Escamillo stumbled and nearly fell down on his first entrance - totally destroying its dramatic impact). The singing of the cast was largely acceptable when they were able to overcome the restrictions imposed by the staging.The whole concept was totally misguided and was solely about Barrie Kosky and he was able to destroy a great work of art by his moronic interpretation. The only saving grace is that I didn't pay £175 for ticket! I have better hopes for Macbeth as Antonio Pappano is conducting and I feel sure that he would not tolerate any such nonsense (the conductor seemed totally superfluous in Carmen)..

  84. F.Pyne responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:40am Reply

    Billed as the first verismo opera the producer knocked all the verismo out of it. And those bloody steps were soooo noisy ! Great singing, great chorus and orchestra is great; ( great but mostly unnecessary dancing). At the end do we really care - are we moved? No no no.

  85. Chris Brandon responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:52am Reply

    Love the idea of streaming to our local school but what a disappointment. The luvvies trying to be too clever. Set was drab and the dreadful staircase took over and diminished the performance, detracting from the wonderful music. First act so slow and boring, don't think Bizet would have liked it.

  86. Michael Slocombe responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:24pm Reply

    So loved this interpretation. Always good to take another slant on things. It was a ballet/opera and so stunning. Ignore the naysayers and keep up the good work.

  87. Lynn C responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:32pm Reply

    First time I've seen Carmen, and I LOVED it! The staging was fantastic, why do we need elaborate sets to use our imaginations? The use of lighting to highlight main actors at the top of the stairs made them look like they were floating.

    I adored every minute, it has made me hungry to see another version.

  88. Carole Parsons responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:34pm Reply

    I really disliked this production - it was colourless, the set was boring and inappropriate. We are regular opera goers but this was the first time we have gone home in the interval. We had no desire to sit through the last act.

  89. Jan Visscher responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:42pm Reply

    It was magnificant!
    We saw it in our cinema in Hoogeveen, the Netherlands

  90. laura responded on 7 March 2018 at 12:44pm Reply


    pure adrenaline .

  91. Valerie swarbrick responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:07pm Reply

    Absolutely fantastic loved every minute Anna is truly amazing. Saw this at Bolton cinema as a live performance.

  92. Michael Wadsworth responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:09pm Reply

    My wife and son, with a party, saw this the other day from the Amphitheatre. They left at the interval because it was all too dark to watch from that distance. Then we saw it in the cinema last night. Absolutely magnificent: Barrie Kosky's clever production is the best I have ever seen. Conclusion: it works brilliantly provided you're near enough. And Goryachova is wonderful.

  93. GSE responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:11pm Reply

    The singing and the music were exceptional (I was fortunate to be at the ROH last night) ! however the setting and choreography was for me too different to be Carmen. Where were the tobacco girls, the toreadors, the smugglers, soldiers and the passion of old Spain ? One of the joys of most of the major ROH productions, whether opera or ballet, are the wonderful sets and costumes. With this huge imposing staircase it feels that this could become the uniform set for all productions. With a good voiceover explaining I am sure we can recreate in our imaginations Bohemian Paris, 19th century Rome or Moscow as required but isn't part of the joy for this to be done by the set and the costumes rather then a voice over ? Pleased I went but personally prefer the more traditional version. AG was though a most fabulous Carmen and the chorus were tremendous.

  94. Michael Hutton responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:19pm Reply

    Its interesting to read all the various comments.My wife and I watched in the Corn Exchange Newbury. Music and singing on the whole was fantastic. The crazy staircase spoiled the story for us.The chorus at times were so busy it distracted from the story and music. Why mess with such a beautiful opera and what happened to Spain ? Maureen & Michael Hutton.

  95. Sue Elliott responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:43pm Reply

    Loved it. A wonderful fresh take on Carmen which I have seen many times in the last 55 years. A Carmen for our times.

  96. Sue P responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:43pm Reply

    Went with three friends. We were all hugely disappointed. Several people walked out and lots were heard commenting in the negative. The set was exceptionally boring, just a staircase, no colour in the costumes and was not the production we were hoping to see. Had we known we would have not have gone.

  97. Jennifer Rich responded on 7 March 2018 at 1:46pm Reply

    Would have been great for radio !!! The singing , chorus & orchestra all superb . The gloomy dull lighting , modern bland costumes & stark set of just a staircase thoroughly spoilt it for me.
    The weird dancing & contrived fidgetng of the chorus seemed totally inappropriate . It was a complete distraction from the plot & the extreme beauty of the music ..

  98. Henrietta Varley responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:04pm Reply

    Only stayed for the first two Acts. Liked the set, thought the costumes were DULL, what was that gorilla outfit in aid of? Curate’s egg.

  99. Pamela responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:06pm Reply

    OK if you want pantomime in opera. Singers did not perform their best due to having to run up and down the steps. There were no subtitles in the Odeon, Epsom - not good with a narration in French - they gave everyone their money back, although I would have liked this just for the rubbish production - too dark, no colour, no scenery, not a sign of anything spanish.. Evening was saved by the brilliant everlasting music.

    • Joseph Chadbourn (Cinema Account Officer) responded on 9 March 2018 at 12:06pm

      Dear Pamela,

      Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that there were no subtitles at the live screening of Carmen on Tuesday.

      There were no problems with the subtitles leaving the ROH that evening.

      We will follow-up with the cinema in question in the hope of resolving this for future broadcasts.

      Best regards,

      ROH Cinema

  100. David Hooper responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:17pm Reply

    Absolutely appalling. Badly staged and generally tacky. I have never seen so many people walk out mainly because they could not face another hour of such a lamentable production. In 50 years of going to the opera I had never walked out of an opera before

  101. Brian Luker responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:36pm Reply

    Seen at Wells cinema. Great music, singing and that was Bizet. But where was the colour that was one of the aspects of Spanish life that so intrigued European artists of this period. All drab. The rest - well that was interesting at best (the dance) and silly at worst (the gorilla). And the commentary was surely not needed - the singing and recitative explains what and where. But the awful thing was the advertising and the chat. The first was about 7 minutes - repeating all the previews the cinema had already played and then luvvies chatting. After the interval 10 minutes of more advertising and luvvies chatting just trying to demonstrate how clever they are. So that was over quarter of an hour wasted and sense of continuity second to third acts broken. Went to see and hear opera. Cut out the rubbish please.

  102. Jay Maloney responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:37pm Reply

    Came away thinking "not nearly good enough ROH". All main singers seemed to be miscast. Voices although ok were not up to or appropriate for the roles assigned. Set was as dull and boring as the cast. Chorus, orchestra and conducting however was as always excellent.

  103. Stephen Swinbank responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:41pm Reply

    My first experience of Carmen but have seen many other Operas and at the Cinema too. The simplicity of the ROH Set together with the subtle lighting all contributed to emphasise the beauty of the drama.
    A Bull-Fight I would kill to see again!

  104. Mike Claire responded on 7 March 2018 at 2:44pm Reply

    I'm lucky in that I don't go to the theatre with preconceived opinions. I'm always open to suggestion and differences. This Carmen knocks your socks off. I'm just a little disappointed that when I go to see another production it won't seem as good. Absolutely everything about this performance was riveting. ( Well, maybe not the gorilla - confused )

  105. Judi Krattiger responded on 7 March 2018 at 3:22pm Reply

    I found the first act costumes too sombre - some contrast to the darkbackground would have been better. Second act was superb. I also liked the "compere" - different to the singers usually speaking the lines. Dancers were excellent too.

  106. Jeannie responded on 7 March 2018 at 3:43pm Reply

    Generally excellent, with some reservations. The single set staging lent itself to some wonderful symmetries and group movement. The lack of colour generally was ok for the filmed version, but would be, I suspect, disappointing live. The voiceover from Merimee's novel was a good touch & well read. Use of so much dance & movement, not just from the dancers, was generally good with some lamentable exceptions ( e.g. The 3 dancers behind Escamillo in his opening aria). A superb Carmen, as a singer actress and dancer. It's worst fault was to undermine the entire tragedy with a cute post-modern ending 2 minutes that erased the entire buildup the last act.

  107. Robert Stevenson responded on 7 March 2018 at 4:11pm Reply

    Just awful. Never realised the Royal Opera house were only able to afford a grim dark staircase for the backdrop. Dismal black dull clothing. Just awful. No more live streamed opera for me. Will watch Swan Lake. Though Think Bolshoi can be relied on not to allow a bunch of conceited luvvie lunatics to ruin a great opera.

  108. Jennifer Miles responded on 7 March 2018 at 4:34pm Reply

    There are not enough superlatives for this magic performance. We absolutely loved it with the seemingly simple but powerful setting. Highly emotive, sexy, and entertaining. Would like to see some more of Barrie K's work. From a cinema (High Wycombe) perspective it worked brilliantly as we were up close, and enjoyed all the chat, narration etc. Unhappy to read some of the negative comments - can't see that they were at the same show.

    • Sue P responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:15pm

      We were at High Wycombe. Did you not notice the number of people who did not come back after the interval?

  109. Nick responded on 7 March 2018 at 4:52pm Reply

    Saw iI on screen in Skipton. Loved it but lose the stupid gorilla suit. The chorus were fantastic in all they did and the four main singers were very good, especially Carmen. I liked all the movement and energy with moments of stillness at key points. Sadly we lost the picture for the last couple of minutes.

  110. Betty Brammer responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:02pm Reply

    Loved it. Watched it at Nant Garw Cardiff where daughter and I have been to all this season's operas and enjoyed them all. The first 10 mins of Carmen were unexpected and intriguing enough to capture our imagination after that we sat back and revelled in the music, singing, and surprises.along the way. Congrats to them all and thanks for the opportunity to be there. I am 90 this year, you should always be ready to embrace new experiences and beautiful music

  111. Jan G responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:16pm Reply

    Lack of colour ,staircase,gorilla outfit and over the top laughing spoiled my first Carmen but loved the music and dancing

  112. Laura Lowes responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:17pm Reply

    Overlong, dismal and underwhelming. We left at the interval. My first “Carmen” and I was disappointed but I will try again. A gorilla suit? What a conceit! Foolish nonsense.

  113. Jackie responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:24pm Reply

    Watched the performance at Cineworld in Bolton. My first time seeing Carmen so I had nothing to compare this production with.

    Did I enjoy it - Yes I did, but only some of it.

    I persevered to the end despite the length of the performance. The set was very basic, very dark and very loud with all the feet. I did expect more colour and for it to be more spectacular. The lady who played Carmen was very expressive and I enjoyed the way she portrayed her character until the second part... I was disappointed with the male voices as they seemed to get lost in the production sometimes. I enjoyed the dancing, though, I did think some of it didn’t seem to fit in the story. The train at the end was distracting especially as Carmen physically dragged it across the stage, I found myself watching hoping that they didn’t fall over it.
    The one thing that I really couldn’t understand was the ‘Gorilla’ costume, was it meant to represent something because if it did I clearly missed it.
    Glad I went to see it for the experience. I will, however, find a different version to watch and see how it compares. Modernising something so well known wasn’t without risk and I can see why it seemed to get a lot of negative comments. Life doesn’t stand still, but perhaps don’t mess too much with something that has always worked before.

  114. Lis Smith responded on 7 March 2018 at 5:38pm Reply

    Watched it in Kingsbridge, Devon. Not too sure at the beginning but then got lost in the performances and loved the completely new direction of the production. Carmen is one of my favourite operas and I loved the new slant and the commentary was useful for my friend who was seeing only her second opera. Well done for having the courage to do something different.

  115. Roger Harris responded on 7 March 2018 at 6:21pm Reply

    After reading the critics we were dreading seeing this, but were completely bowled over by a stunning interpretation that made us look at the opera anew. Loved Anna Goryachova - can she come back soon and all praise to the chorus who were fantastic in everything they did. I went with a party of 5, 4 liked it and 1 hated it!

  116. Dawn Folley responded on 7 March 2018 at 6:48pm Reply

    Being a complete a novice, I had nothing to judge this Carmen by. I thought it was beautiful. Carmen, herself mesmerising. The voices superb.Watched this in my local cinema in France, thank you, ROH for the opportunity. Would like, one day, to see a traditional version, but that can wait

  117. Christina Hickson responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:14pm Reply

    I was so looking forward to seeing Carmen - I love Bizet's music. I imagined the gypsies dancing with their colourful dresses and Carmen outshining them all with her beauty and charisma. But no - only a dark staircase, an irritating commentary telling me what was going on, clowns posing as smugglers with even the champion bullfighter Escamillo making very little impact on the stage. The man in front of us left after about half an hour. We left in the interval convinced it was not going to get any better. Will think twice before paying to see another ROH cinema showing.

  118. Chaz Stoll responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:26pm Reply

    Hiya - disappointed...

    especially of Goryachova in a gorilla suit - that was the low point for me - dreadful!

    Great voices, but over reliant on "Cabaret" - I have seen it twice before and both were better. It was avante garde for the sake of it.
    The gorilla suit was embarrassing - cutting edge? I think not.

  119. Amanda J MacKenzie responded on 7 March 2018 at 7:51pm Reply

    The singing was superb. However I found the Football Stadium set quite tedious. Were the gypsey girls taking part in the ‘MeToo’ protest? Why all the black dresses? Especially when Carmen is singing about colourful costumes. It seems perverse. The gorilla suit was a disaster. The clowns in the quintet were aggravating, and detracted from the brilliance of the singing. Have a look at ‘Carmen Jones’ for how to stage the cafe scene. The ROH dancers gave a mediocre performance, with no life to it, even though they are clearly good dancers. What a waste. The matador dance was good, though.
    I was hoping this Carmen might stab Don Jose. Oh well, one can dream.

  120. Dan responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:15pm Reply

    I will run away from anything this director touches/destroys again. He should be showing his pieces of art at Tate Modern and similar venues and leave opera and its magic alone.

    - an insult to Bizet
    - an insult to music and its beauty
    - an insult to opera an its magic

    Ridiculous. Shameful.

    ROH insulting Bizet, music, opera and loyal customers.

    One can argue that Rigoletto nakedness is too much, about Lucia split stage... That's all right. This is the most horrendous thing i might expect from the ROH.

    There was a time i would say ROH is the best thing in London. There will always be Koskys out there, only ROH is liable of giving them stage though.

    Now more than ever i think i had better buy a DVD from the Met or alla Scala, and enjoy some quality at home.

    Thank you for making it so clear.

  121. Mikey responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:18pm Reply

    What a pile of tosh. Hated what I saw and left at the first opportunity (after Act 1), what a relief to get out of the cinema. The narration was intrusive and inappropriate. Singers out of breath coping with stairs. a gorilla suit - what was that all about! Long interludes of supposed Cabaret were tedious. No story to draw you in and totally sexless characterisations, Carmen is supposed to be one of the most sensuous characters in opera but there was nothing enticing about her.
    Worst Carmen ever

  122. George Atkinson responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:22pm Reply

    This was an almost four hours of my life that cannot be replaced..thought of leaving cinema at the interval. Why not show it in black and white to make it even more dismal...the What's On and Daily Mail critics were right about this one.
    One elderly lady in the audience suggested it might be OK if you kept your eyes closed!!
    The only parts I enjoyed were the playing of the orchestra and the excellent chorus singing.

    • Dan responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:32pm

      What the elderly woman meant is if you actually manage to get asleep... Remember the jumping and clapping noise?
      I refunded my ticket and saw it finally from a local cinema in Spain (yes, that country Kosky seems to dislike that much).... Even the quality sound dropped at the cinema with that clapping... Not even the perfect view the cinema gives you helped... I cannot imagine this live...

  123. Encie responded on 7 March 2018 at 8:35pm Reply

    I was left subdued...
    Why do this to Carmen?
    Why the gorilla suit?
    Why was the staging so dull?

  124. Fliss Foster responded on 7 March 2018 at 9:43pm Reply

    Why fix what wasn’t broken?! Carmen isc left in tatters, having lost her way at the hands of and the‘progressives’ and ‘contemporaries’ indulging Koskie’s ego.

    Carmen now has an identity crisis: monochrome seductress? Opera/cabaret show? Contemporary ballet/broadway musical?

    That ROH unleashed Koskie onto one of opera’s most enduring characters escapes me. And the gorilla outfit? A cheap trick to stun and capture attention. Err, the music and singing does that all on its own. No cheap tricks, glitz and frenzied activity required. Mr Koskie: please exit stage left directly to Broadway and don’t come back!!

  125. Mike Flannery responded on 7 March 2018 at 10:38pm Reply

    Before I attended the opera (16th March), someone said Carmen...wonderful. You can't go wrong with Carmen. Unfortunately, my friend was wrong. To paraphrase the wonderful Thelma Barlow's comment in dinner ladies about the spitting scene in the film Titanic, "after the gorilla, the blade couldn't come quick enough" I'm all for new takes on old favourites, but how do you manage to take all the passion out of this opera? I found myself not really caring what happened to any of them. If that was the director's intention, then he succeeded. But if he wanted me to feel the heat of the passion that drove Don Jose to throw everything he cared about in his away for this one girl, then he failed. Not too sure about the half-dressed dancing matelots in the mountains when the narrator/surtitles are telling us its freezing cold! Overall, I'm not sure what Mr Kosky wanted me to take away from this, other than a feeling of bewilderment.

  126. Maggie smith responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:03pm Reply

    Best Carmen I have ever seen..I loved every minute and wanted to see it again..the whole place was mesmerised...I am so grateful that this was live screened ..I would never have been able to go to London at the moment......the whole cast were fab and I loved the unusual interpretation...well done

  127. Mike Flannery responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:16pm Reply

    Sorry - 16th February

  128. Kenneth Maule responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:21pm Reply

    Music and singing very good, but the direction was truly awful; gloomy set, weird flight of steps which tripped several of the cast. In fact the steps were used throughout EXCEPT when they would have been useful ie: in the bull-arena. Gorilla suit was a random, irrelevant distraction, as were the twitching finger movements of the (St. Vitus) dance crew. The death of Carmen was like a furtive murder when it should have been a dramatic parallel to the killing of the bull by the matador.

  129. Shawna Paxton responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:29pm Reply

    So disappointed by this production! If I wanted to see a load of people thundering up & down stairs I could have waited in Oxford Circus tube station for a couple of hours & saved myself 20 quid! Thank goodness I didn't buy tickets at the Opera House.
    The music & singing were wonderful but ruined by the dark set, if you can call it that, & costumes. Carmen should be full of colour & flamboyance. So many people left at the interval. I stuck it out till the end but thought the whole thing was pretentious. What on earth were the gorilla suit, the Marcel Marceau mimes & the hysterical laughing all about?
    Sorry, this is a case of the emperor's new clothes scenario, I am not against change or innovation ( I love Mathew Bourne's very different ballets) but I thought it was dreadful. Never want to see that version again.
    The scheme of live cinema screenings is fantastic. A wonderful opportunity to see opera & ballet at reasonble prices. I have enjoyed every other one I've seen & look forward to the next one.

  130. Mrs Lesley D Pearson responded on 7 March 2018 at 11:29pm Reply

    Opera has been a passion since I reached woman hood and lived and worked in London. Carmen is one of my very favourite opera's and have seen it performed live at the Royal Opera House. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to learn that I could experience the excitement of another version in this way and locally in my home town.
    I was mesmerized. It felt as though I was being lifted up and I was so excited. At one point I got so involved that I had tears running down my face.
    A marvellous performance and I so want to than every member of the cast for making my evening one that I will never forget.

  131. Pat Blades responded on 8 March 2018 at 12:06am Reply

    Just back from the live stream at Haslemere Hall , Carmen was one of the first LPs I ever bought , have seen lots of versions and loved this one . Original choreography , great costumes and orchestration , the set minimalistic but didn't distract as sometimes happens . A great performance .

  132. Tzctroh responded on 8 March 2018 at 12:25am Reply

    What saddens me the most is the newcomers that think they watched Carmen.

  133. Janet Burr responded on 8 March 2018 at 12:30am Reply

    That staircase is an accident waiting to happen. What will happen when a singer falls from top to bottom ? How on earth did it get passed ‘ ‘elf and safety ‘ ? The orchestra and the music was the best part of this production.

  134. N Sakati responded on 8 March 2018 at 12:52am Reply

    Change #ROHCarmen to #ROHKosky

    What a waste of time and money; was desperately waiting for the first interval to leave and not come back for more dose of black on black on black!

    Do they have gorillas in Spain?

    You are lucky, so far, no one has broken a leg on those silly black steep steps! Did you check with Health And Safety? Instead of closing my eyes and just enjoying the music, I was distracted worrying someone might fall and get hurt!

    Hearing "red and orange dresses" just made me angry, where were they?

    Are you sure the same black steps and black dresses would be used in Macbeth?

    How could black steps and black dresses be suitable to 'comedy' and clowns?

    Great Failure!
    Great Disappointment!

  135. James &Renee Roxburgh responded on 8 March 2018 at 1:14am Reply

    My wife and I enjoy Opera and ballet,and have just watched Winters Tale and Tosca,both streamed from the Royal Opera House and both excellent. Carmen was something we were looking forward to,but it was truly awful. We will avoid any production with this director. We too noticed Escamillos trip on the hideous steps surprised the fast entrant wasn't a fatality !
    No colour,too many distracting bodies wearing clothes they seemed to have brought from home. The gorilla suit--- what can we say ?

  136. Ian Mckillop responded on 8 March 2018 at 5:45am Reply

    Positively the worst production of Carmen I have ever witnessed. A perfect example of how a Director's egotistical 'whim' and selfish 'dictate' can ruin a classic! ROH should be ashamed of itself!
    My guests, who were first time Opera Goers, were simply horrified!

  137. Kate responded on 8 March 2018 at 11:13am Reply

    I’m deeply disappointed!!!
    The new production of Carmen was something I was looking forward to months.
    I’ve attended many great Opers in the last year, most recently Rigoletto and have always been an admirer of this art form.
    Carmen has been one of my favourite Operas for many years. Having seen different performances all over the world, I was especially delighted to see that Carmen was returning to the ROH.
    Being part of the rehearsal for Carmen, I regret evening spending the money for this ticket.
    I’m not quite sure, who decided to add pantomimes, this inexcusable makeup and dance styles from the 20s to this once great Opera but this is just ridiculous. The desperate attempt to win new audiences with this new and open “style” is all good and well, but let’s be honest, it’s just embarrassing. Not just for the ROH but for Bizet as well.
    The Role of Carmen should have been sung by a person who resembles the idea of Carmen at least a bit and was, let’s be honest, completely miscast. The voiceover lets me believe that I’m too stupid to understand this opera and had to be told what to think and what would happen next. Is this how it’s going to be in the future? People telling us there though over a microphone instead of actual acting and performing the Opera. Is it already too late to expect a little dignity in the Opera? I guess I was wrong in believing that the ROH could stand the test of time. Well, not by letting this production on the stage. Please, please focus more on quality than in ticket selling. Take an example form our friends in Paris. This new and exceptional production of Carmen could have been a great opportunity, bringing Carmen in the 21st century. And now dressing them in neon colours and pretending this is a Cabaret and not an Opera?!?
    Never leaving a performance before the Curtain Call, I left this performance heartbroken, selling my front row ticket for the premiere of Carmen.
    I have never been this disappointed in the ROH and a performance of a great Opera.
    At least the Orchester was, as always, exceptionally good.

  138. I can't wait to see Carmen. The music of the opera is wonderful but the new production is awful. I have seen Carmen in the Royal Opera House. Twice!! Play in 19th century but in 20th century!!! Please, bring the old production. I am very bitter disappointed. Do you think will I support for the awful opera of new production? No!!! One of the worst opera, I even seen!!!! Very, very disappointed.

  139. james brereton responded on 8 March 2018 at 1:42pm Reply

    being a lover of dated hackneyed opera spectacle which tells the story colourfully and seamlessly I was disappointed in the drab awkward set for Carmen with its resounding dangerous wooden steps, breaks to listen to dialogue, unrealistic costume and gimmicks but loved the singing dancing and orchestra. Innovators beware of extremes.

  140. John White responded on 8 March 2018 at 3:05pm Reply

    Had I 'watched' with my eyes closed I would have enjoyed the splendid singing and orchestra. Unfortunately, the set defied belief, the choreography was meaningless street/ break dance, and the costumes bizarre. In all, a far cry from the vibrant passion of flamenco Spain. The first and final insults to Bizet, Carmens'first entrance and final exit. What a travesty of such a well loved opera

  141. andrew haigh responded on 8 March 2018 at 4:52pm Reply

    Bravo for the singing - fabulous Carmen - the dancing, the orchestra. The semi-narration worked well. But - I thought Spain, flamenco etc was all about life and colour, not tired, dingy "costumes" that looked like they had spent forty years in a dungeon with moths and grime. As for the staircase - well, I suppose it was cheap to produce. I love real-life gorillas, but Carmen's entry - and exit - was bizarre and pathetic. A travesty of what should have been a great evening... and an insult to a great cast.

  142. Anne Hallowes responded on 8 March 2018 at 7:12pm Reply

    We watched the opera which was relayed to our village hall. We were appalled at the staging on a staircase which we had to imagine initially as being outside a tobacco factory in Seville, then a tavern, then in the mountains and finally outside the bull ring. The costumes were totally inappropriate and added to the blandness of the production. Extremely disappointed in the lack of vibrancy and the noise from the staircase detracted from the performance. The jiggling about of the chorus at the insistence of Barrie Kosky was bizarre. The singing was excellent, but otherwise extremely disappointed and not to be repeated.

  143. NC responded on 8 March 2018 at 10:53pm Reply

    Passionless, colourless and soulless! Singing and orchestra aside, Barrie Kosky has ruined what should have been a fabulous night at the opera.
    Bizet died an early death and if he hadn't, this performance certainly would have killed him!

  144. Marta responded on 9 March 2018 at 1:06pm Reply

    For me, from Spain, also the best Carmen I have ever seen. I loved it. And I have seen this opera a lot of times. Wonderful, divine... And Anna Goryachova simply marvellous...
    I think Barrie Kosky is a genious!!
    Thanks a lot for this special opera.

  145. Jo responded on 9 March 2018 at 4:51pm Reply

    Agree with the majority, a long boring production with no colour, no feel of Spain, way too much unnecessary dancing which seriously detracted from the story. There was no chemistry at all between the two leads. The story was fragmented and could not be discerned and I hated the stairs. What a complete annihilation of a brilliant, passionate story. No characters, great singing by the chorus but rubbished by the choreography. It should have an exceedingly short run.

  146. Blossom Lane responded on 9 March 2018 at 7:34pm Reply

    Comparing the Carmen I saw many years ago with this modern performance I absolutely loved it and was awed by the dancers. It is very much a Carmen production of our time.

  147. Lynne Spon-Smith responded on 9 March 2018 at 8:26pm Reply

    Wonderful and wacky, can't understand the negative comments, open your minds, it's fun to see different interpretations. Singing was superb and use of staircase was mind blowing, the skill of the company was amazing. The only thing though, can someone explain gorilla suit!!

  148. Jo H responded on 9 March 2018 at 9:11pm Reply

    Carmen is wild passion, heat & heartbreak.
    The cast gave their all, but I was left feeling chilled. I wanted Seville, but got a staircase & a gorilla??? I wanted tradition but got a chaotic, so called, "modern" interpretation. I shared this screening with a friend who had never experienced "Carmen", we were left feeling underwhelmed. I have recommended he watch "Carmen Jones".

  149. Giulia Breakwell responded on 10 March 2018 at 4:45am Reply

    I see I was not alone in disliking the latest production of Carmen.Opera should transport you into the realms of beauty, mystery and wonderful music, not drag you down into the depths of greyness and depression !

  150. Richard Hall responded on 10 March 2018 at 9:47am Reply

    We haven't come out talking about an opera production so much before. We liked the concept and there were many moments of utter brilliance but it was all very dark on the screening, was it this dark in the auditorium? A great Carmen who can act, well conducted, your (very good) chorus set a new standard for what they can do, maintaining great singing with all that movement. The children were also very good both in singing and movement (and their exuberance was well used in the production).
    Not a routine night at all.

  151. Jane Johnston responded on 10 March 2018 at 10:17am Reply

    This is a sort of Euro Carmen. Let’s take the Spain out of Spain. What a shame. I had so looked forward to seeing my first live production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House and ended up just feeling sorry for the fabulously talented performers having to work for a director who managed to remove all the passion and colour from this wonderful opera. Quite an achievement.

  152. Helen Hutchins responded on 10 March 2018 at 8:09pm Reply

    Loved the singing and the orchestra but disappointed in the production as a whole. What happened to the colour and flamboyance which I expect with Carmen. The first half was very long with the extra music included plus the voice over. The appearance of Carmen in a monkey suit was ludicrous. The staircase constrained the cast. How did it pass health and safety standards? The clatter of shoes on the staircase was irritating to say the least. Would not come to another performance of this production which was not worthy of the opera house.

  153. Rex Butters responded on 11 March 2018 at 8:15pm Reply

    Brilliant choreography, masterly lighting, wonderful singing, fine orchestra, Anna Goryachova a quite splendid Carmen.
    The whole production challenged the watcher to think.
    One puzzle was the gorilla suit-Why?

  154. Robert responded on 11 March 2018 at 10:41pm Reply

    Have seen it today in a german cinema. It was absolutly fantastic and beautiful!
    I have seen it only once before, but I think especially the danciong perfomances were somethimng that made this play quite unique.

  155. KAREN JAMES responded on 12 March 2018 at 9:35am Reply

    I was so looking forward to seeing my first opera. I thought I would try this live screening first which was cheaper than spending a lot of money on a ticket and travel to the ROH. Glad I did because I walked out when Carmen came on in a Gorilla costume, so I didn't last long. Dreadful and very disappointed. Opera is supposed to be about colour, costumes, the fantastic settings. This was completely missing. I also did not like the leading lady playing Carmen, she kept making th most awful faces when singing.

    • Eleanor Hulme responded on 13 March 2018 at 8:49am

      O agree with a lot of what you say . Didn't like the dancers ...ok have some dance but all that frenetic jerking? Same for micro manag ed set scenes when chorus too was juggling about. Colour is essential. The made up end of Carmen coming alive was ridiculous ..reduced the whole thing to a comedic prank . I must go to a proper Carmen soon to Get some sweat Heat And Dust Ie Passion !!!!

  156. Annabel Letham responded on 12 March 2018 at 1:10pm Reply

    My first ever opera viewed from Coín in Andalucia, Spain. We were told to expect a different interpretation, so I wasn't disappointed. On the contrary it was riveting. I felt I had to participate by concentrating and focusing on every movement, gesture and note; and Hey the gorilla broke the tension and made me laugh! Anna Goryachova's expressions were superb; so loved her face at the end. A wonderful thought provoking experience. (If you were prepared to allow yourself to do that)

  157. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 12 March 2018 at 3:50pm Reply

    we have entered an era of extremity in the history of opera. an era where we witness a unique & unprecedented combination of extreme talent and effort delivered by the cast and the extreme level of disobedience to the composer delivered by the production, which demands that the audience possess an extreme degree of patience, tolerance and commitment to distinguish the two

  158. HILDE MORRIS responded on 12 March 2018 at 4:04pm Reply

    I'm very familiar with Carmen but this version quite blew me away...can't get it out of my head, so much to think about! And wonderful dance as well as amazing singing. The only thing I did not get was the gorilla suit....THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE!

  159. Patricia Laurence responded on 12 March 2018 at 4:09pm Reply

    Oddly enough, I finally enjoyed the cinema screening of Carmen on 11 March because its inadequacies, crazy repetitive choreography and the jeopardy of the potential hazardousness of the set became funny. I spent most of the last act laughing to myself. ( I did close my eyes and just try listening but started to fall asleep so I had to watch in order to stay awake.) It was so deliciously awful, incongruous and pointless. It was, however, physically painful to sit there for 4 hours.

    It appears to be full of unintended consequences - a King/Queen Kong appearance at the top of the stairs that then deflates to allow disembodied hands to remove the hands and feet of the gorilla/ Carmen. This is no mysterious femme fatale a la Garbo or ironic Cabaret knock off but an image that made me think of endangered animals. Initially, I could not tell who was Don Jose because he had no charisma on stage or musically. I have no idea why he and Carmen fall for each other as they were equally passionless. The effectiveness of rope trick was hindered by it becoming detached so the meaning of the staging takes on a life of its own which became symbolic of the whole production.

    Escamillo was delightfully upholstered in dreadful 1970s black and white material with dirty pink stockings and is then passed around like an large, unwieldy sofa by the chorus line dancers. The fact that there appeared to be no spark between him and Carmen was fully understandable in these circumstances. His final appearance in what looks like gold draylon with the matador hat, which anyway always looks faintly ridiculous, took on a Micky Mouse aspect for me.

    Micaela's dress would have been appropriate for an underdeveloped and over protected 11 year old. It just looked tatty but it too becomes amusing after a while as did her operatic gesturing and facial expressions because they are visually so absurd in the context of an unconventional staging.

    Carmen's impressive train looked as though it was breathing in a macabre, science fiction way. The effort she had to employ to drag it around was admirable if somewhat distracting and when Don Jose tripped over it, it was a climatic point for me. The murder was anti-climatic and when Carmen uncurled and came back to life, the final shrug was a relief because I realised it was over and I would not have to pretend that this was in anyway meaningful. At this point, I could at least laugh at myself as well as the cast, the chorus and minor characters of which had stoically persevered through the production with meaningless gestures, climbing up and down the stairs, "Dad dancing" and self-titilating lasciviousness.

    I did not love it, I did not hate it. It was a quasi trauma and hopefully this debrief will enable me to put it behind me.

  160. Terry McIntee responded on 12 March 2018 at 8:17pm Reply

    Great singing, brilliant acting, but, oh dear! What a dreadful production! Where was the colour? Where the Spanish vibrancy? The wonderful cast worked so hard for this . . this travesty!

  161. Roger Taylor responded on 12 March 2018 at 11:55pm Reply

    We have just come from a screening of Carmen in Swansea. As usual for ROH the standard of of singing by lead cast members, particularly Anna Goryachova and Francesco Meli, chorus and orchestral playing were superb. However we did not like the production. Although updated settings often work well, Carmen is very much a verismo opera with a tragic ending, and to translate it into the genre of a West End musical semi-comedy setting we thought was in appropriate. The dancing styles were random and frequently off-putting.

  162. ROBERT COCORACCHIO responded on 13 March 2018 at 9:40am Reply

    We attended last nights performance and unreservedly believe that this production is the worst we have ever seen at ROH. Absolutely and shockingly deplorable. The cast performed as they were instructed and did their best, and out of respect to them we waited until the interval until we left. We certainly were not alone.
    Our first glimpse of our sultry tempestuous heroine Carmen sets the tone for the whole performance. She appears from the unbearable heat of the cigarette factory for her break in, wait for it ...a gorilla suit. Witty? Innovative? Wonderful? No just plain malevolent,disjointed and disrespectful garbage.
    The characters were deliberately neutralized and there was simply no chemistry between our main protagonists. The set , choreography, and costumes were all substandard. We would still feel cheated even if we were given our money back.
    First and definitely last Kosky

  163. Terry Johnson responded on 13 March 2018 at 10:10am Reply

    Please ROH, never employ this director again. What an insult to Bizet!

  164. Penny Shaw responded on 13 March 2018 at 3:18pm Reply

    Loved every minute of it (except the gorilla suit!). There was all the passion you'd expect from the wanton gypsy girl. Goryachova was perfect with her mannerisms, facial expressions, seductive walk.
    The chorus were amazing, and appeared to be really enjoying themselves. Loved the way the dancers intermingled then appeared for their own numbers.
    The set allowed the cast to melt in and out of view, disappear over the top, sneak in from the sides - very effective.
    Congratulations to the director for being so imaginative and daring.
    Thanks also to all the cast, chorus and orchestra for what was, to my mind, a stunning performance.

  165. Elspeth responded on 17 March 2018 at 11:30am Reply

    I loved it, as did my brother. I liked the way the choreography replaced set and props, the style of movement was mesmerising. The portrayal of Carmen was up to date and rang true.
    I didn't get that much from a couple of the male characters, though. And the lighting could have been used to bring colour and emotion to some scenes. Gorilla suit was not necessary, for me, but was memorable and interesting.
    Overall, highly recommended.

  166. Joseph Maguire responded on 26 March 2018 at 1:03pm Reply

    More ticket for Carmen!!!!! No!!! No!!! I wouldn't buy a ticket in the future!!! Pull the plug!!! The worst opera in Royal Opera House!!!!! Don't sell DVD of Carmen!!!

  167. Dan responded on 31 March 2018 at 2:03pm Reply

    Awful, where is Royal House reputation after this, even repeating it? Not only once again, but twice in summer 2019???? What are people going to think Carmen is in London?????

    There is no need, see Macbeth, Rigiletto, is full anyway, all happy, quality.

    I saw this horrendous production from Spain (yes, that country that is so much hated by this Kosky... Please don't go there, we do not want you either after this), and not even for curiosity would assist live, had enough unpleasant clapping and laughing noises at the cinema, cannot imagine this nonsense live.

    Would you imagine this joke at La Scala, Milan? I don't think my Italian colleagues would shut up seeing this for instance. Fortunately for them nobody seems to boo here even when Bizet is raped open at nowhere else than at the ROH; I now now this is a place where you can either get the best as in today's Macbeth or the biggest of the craps and insults to audience.

    I will not be assisting of course, anyway it will be full as usual with happy customers (newcomers.. People who have not seen even 10 operas in their days) as if it was a musical since those don't now what opera is yet.

    I will instead spend the money on a Met or La Scala DVD, didn't hear they lost their taste and respect as it has obviously happened in London and it will be repeated twice...


  168. Alice responded on 4 April 2018 at 1:04pm Reply

    I frequently attend ROH, bringing friends and family, and we often enjoy new ideas and concepts that ROH comes up with, giving us food for thought.

    But I will never, and I mean never ever, pay to see anything by this director again. He is blacklisted. This is supposed to be Carmen! What a tremendous disappointment.

    Please don't do this again.

  169. John responded on 5 April 2018 at 10:56am Reply

    Cinema relay of Carmen was the most disappointing production I have seen - staging poor and music and singing did not come over. First time I have ever walked out in the interval.

    By comparison, the Mcbeath relay, with less musical appeal, was magnificent

  170. Pat responded on 8 April 2018 at 1:20am Reply

    In my opinion, the opera is much more enjoyable with subtitles which translate the
    lyrics/verbalizations into the primary
    language of the viewing audience. For much of the opera, I had no idea why they were doing what they were doing. Please use

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 16 April 2018 at 11:49am

      Hi Pat,

      We transmit subtitles to all cinema relays - it may be that the cinema you were watching from experienced technical difficulties.

      Can you let us know where you were watching from so that we can review this?

      Best wishes,


  171. Deeya Pavelle responded on 8 April 2018 at 3:20pm Reply

    this was NOT Carmen.

  172. Joseph Maguire responded on 19 April 2018 at 12:08pm Reply

    Dear Chris Shipman,
    I am very disappointed since after I saw Carman. Worst! WORST OPEAR!!!!. It's sink and down in the drain. Tell Berrire Kosky, "Pack your bag and go!!!" Had the ticket had been cancel?? 100? 1000?? I can't wait to see "Manon on 10th? of May.

  173. Carole Jones responded on 17 August 2018 at 8:38pm Reply

    Having just seen Anna Goryachova as Carmen in a fantastic new production by the Argentinean producer Hugo de Ana in Verona (August 2018) I realise how badly she was served by Barrie Kosky’s appalling production. I totally agree that there can be changes in the era in which the production is set. This new one In Verona is set in Spain, a century later, in the 1930’s and provides a vibrant new interpretation of Carmen while still maintaining the atmosphere of the visceral, carnal Spain as described by Merimee in the novel on which Bizet’s opera is based.
    Given the benefits of the acoustics and ability to reproduce fantastic sound in The ROH my expectation was that Anna Goryachova’s performance would be infinitely better on such a stage. Not so! Her performance was truly inspirational in Verona in this vivid and bold production. An earlier comment suggested that Carmen in the ROH was miscast, not so it was all about poor direction and production. In Verona I couldn’t believe I was watching the same artist, she was absolutely amazing in both her dramatic and vocal portrayal of Carmen. I feel sad that people who have never experienced performances of Carmen before were subjected to this appalling, tedious display of arrogant directorship.

  174. Desie responded on 18 December 2018 at 2:30pm Reply

    Dear Chris Shipman,

    I can't understand how most of the negative comments (including mine) have somehow disappeared!?
    This a joke - people deserve to know how BAD this production is!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 18 December 2018 at 3:25pm

      Hi Desie,

      All posts conforming to our community standards - including critical ones - have been released from moderation and posted. None have been removed, but do let us know if there are specific posts you can no longer see

      Best wishes


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