A sexy temptress no man can resist and a local police officer who falls hard for her become embroiled in a complicated intrigue of passion and jealousy in Radley Metzger's boldly original erotic update of the opera Carmen.
Based on the novel by Prosper Merimee, CARMEN is the classic tale of forbidden passion between a young man (Leonardo Sbaraglia) and a spoken-for woman, Carmen (Paz Vega). It is told in ... See full summary »
A group of flamenco dancers are rehearsing a very spanish version of the Prosper Merimee's drama. Antonio (the coreographer) falls in love with Carmen (the main dancer). Their story then ... See full summary »
Laura del Sol,
Paco de Lucía
This is the fourth production that I have reviewed, proving that I really love Carmen. There is a passion in this opera that I haven't experienced with any other. Some will be put off by the lip-synching, but that was also done in Rosi's film with Migenes and Domingo which was a triumph. Rosi knew how to recreate a nineteenth-century world with bored soldiers far from home and cigarette girls looking for a bit of fun. Something of this loving attention is missing from this film, which I think is a vanity project for the conductor, von Karajan. Some of the crowd scenes look flat, empty of excitement when in the live versions they usually fizz with life.
Jon Vickers scales down his ringing Tristan tenor voice to sing Don Jose, and he does a good job, despite having an inexpressive face. Justino Diaz sings manfully,despite looking like he's just left high school--he must have been very young in 1967. Mirella Freni sings the best Micaela I will ever hear; her third act aria Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante is thrilling. Grace Bumbry, using the most subtle movements of her features--a raised eyebrow here, a curling lip there--achieves wonderful effects of characterization. Most Carmens play up the eroticism and wildness of the role, but Bumbry is more relaxed, subtler. The viewer has to understand that she attracts men because she's feminine, not a dog in heat. Bumbry goes to the top of the list of mezzos I have seen in this role.
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