Friday, December 9, 2011

Carmen (1875)

Georges Bizet (1838-75), Carlos Kleiber (conductor), Vienna State Opera , Yelena Olbrazstova (Carmen), Franco Zeffirelli (Director)

This is an emotionally torrid romance mixing love, bullfighting and death. It is set in Spain and the music has a Latin beat. Carmen is a gypsy girl who works in a cigarette factory and is also a member of a smuggling gang. The plot is a fatal love triangle with a soldier and a bullfighter. The Opera experience has been brilliantly captured for TV and one shares the immersion of the audience, as the camera periodically reminds us of the orchestra and the uninhibited applause. The many choruses celebrate the communal experience of life and the story is more or less engrossing till the finale. One can but imagine the feel of the hall overflowing with a splendor of sound.

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