Grace Bumbry is excellent as Carmen, Jon Vickers excellent as Don Jose, and Herbert von Karajan is of course a first rate conductor. Overall, the audio performance and recording are first rate. The directing, staging, costumes, set design, etc. are conservative in that they remain true to the original story and opera.
The only problem with the DVD is that the audio and video were recorded separately in 1967: the audio in April in Munich, the video in June in Vienna. Why this was done I don't know, but the result is that the singers look like they are lip-synching, because, well, they are lip-synching to the earlier audio-only recording.
The best opera recordings are of an actual performance, because this is what most of us want to see: if we can't be at the theater, then we want the next best thing. Unfortunately this Carmen is not at this level because the singers are not really singing on screen. If you are looking for a CD version of this opera, I recommend this one; for a DVD version, look elsewhere, or at least take a look at other performances in addition to this one.
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