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Before all, my English is far too poor to write anything. But I can't
believe my own eyes, seein' so PERFECT production with so PERFECT
cast(marvelous Ramey, wonderful Baltsa, very good Carreras)with such
low rating 3.4 !!!!!!! 3.4 ??????????????
Jesus Christ and God in heaven, one must be blind and totally deaf voting this way.
I want to say, that that Carmen (MET Carmen) is the BEST opera I've ever saw (and I saw hundreds of'em, I'm total opera freak)
I vote with all my heart 10
PS How, for God's sake, is possible to vote 1, 3 or even 6 for that production ? Please, write your comments, all you "wrongvoters"
PS 2 Sorry for my ghastly English
This 1987 production of Carmen is quite good. There is a lot of great singing by Agnes Baltsa and Jose Carreras.Their spoken French lacks precision and fluidity but who cares?, probably not a lot of people will feel this.Agnes Baltsa displays a lot of knowhow as an actress as well as a singer. Carreras as an actor, well... but when this man sings you forget about it.And when you think that this was taped in 1987, it becomes rather poignant to see him singing with so much energy and art knowing that he would soon be diagnosed with leukemia. Kudos for the sets, the costumes and the orchestra direction.« Carmen » can be ruined by badly inspired directors.This is certainly not the case. I agree with the preceding review. This is underrated.But I think there is an explanation. There was once a man who said:« The medium is the message.» Nowadays, alas! the medium is the culture. This is traditional opera perhaps but if you consider what we usually see on television these days, this becomes an exceptional 3 hours in your experience as a television viewer. Many thanks to the Met for keeping this DVD available in the stores and at so low cost. By doing this they are truly contributing to the democratization of what is badly named « high culture ».
I've seen "Carmen" before, and even the most modest productions tend to
fill the stages with vibrant colors to help enrich Carmen's native
But not so here. The performances are very solid, but the backdrop is hard on the eyes. Almost as if the director wanted a gritty presentation for this well known piece with an extremely memorable score.
I personally found it hard to watch, though nice and easy to listen to. In fact, as I stated, the performances are very solid, and the singing is top notch. But the visuals don't compliment the live talent.
What the viewer is left with is a mixed bag, probably aimed at presenting a more "real" Carmen. It's worth looking at, but I've seen better, though admittedly I have not heard better. Yet when it comes to opera one needs the other. Judge for yourself.
At the time of when it was first premiered, I think Carmen was
dismissed as having no memorable tunes. Evaluating that opinion, I
personally find that hard to believe. While the characters are
wonderfully depicted, Carmen is difficult to pull off but also one of
my dream roles when and if I turn professional singer but goodness
doesn't the character live long into the memory, and the story
riveting, the music is a huge part of the reason why I consider Carmen
THE French opera.
This Met production I like a lot. And I agree it is underrated, if 3.4 was indeed the score 7 years ago,(unless it was the result of not that many voters) then this is yet again another case of IMDb losing credibility, thank goodness it is much higher now. The best Carmen I've seen so far is still the 1984 film with Domingo and Mignes-Johnson, but that's not a reason to dismiss this 1987 production, which is reliably done as is the case with the Met.
The sets may be a little too gaudy and lacking in authenticity perhaps, however the costumes and video directing are truly excellent and the stage direction is very assured throughout. The orchestra as always are wonderful and the conducting compliments the rhythms and melodies of the score very well.
The performances are very good on the whole. The weak link in my opinion is Jose Carreras, he looks dashing, has credible chemistry with his co-stars and has a truly lovely voice if a little faulty sometimes with the intonation and phrasing particularly in the first act, but the acting is rather rudimentary for my tastes. However Agnes Baltsa is a wonderful Carmen, while not as beautiful perhaps as one would like she is flirtatious and sexy as Carmen should be and her singing is rich and flexible.
Leona Mitchell is very poignant as Michaela, her act 3 aria had me weeping, but the best performance comes from Samuel Ramey as Escamillo in a role that he is perfect for(alongside Don Giovanni and Attila). And when it comes to the highlight of the night, my immediate answer would be the Toreador's song, with such power and control not only is Ramey's performance of it the most powerful and most musical singing of the night his rendition is one of the best I've heard too(and yes I have heard Jose Vam Dam, Lawrence Tibbett and Ruggero Raimondi, they're excellent as well).
In conclusion, a good production which I like a lot. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Samuel Ramey's performance of the "Toreador Song" is so phenomenal, I
have to go back and play that part of the opera at least two more times
every time I watch the video. The high note that hits in this area must
be heard to be believed and Ramey's power is unparalleled by any bass
past or present.
However, I thought Jose Carreras was below par due to perceptible pitch problems throughout the opera.
Agnes Baltsa is better than your average Carmen and sang rather well.
Leona Mitchell is also rather good in her portrayal of Micaela and the supporting cast did a good job in acting and singing their roles.
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