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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A realist showcase for the principal's signature role

Author: Framescourer from London, UK
28 January 2006

A fine production of one of opera's greatest works. Peter Hall's outing is well-pitched between realism and necessary staginess. The modest (old) Glyndebourne stage is well used to show pull the soap-scale drama from the heart of the grand romantic tragedy.

Maria Ewing is one of the great Carmens, a smouldering melange of lust, beauty, insecurity and (where others trip up) a compelling Latin disdain. In all this her acting is unmannered. In addition she sings with outward abandon and fantastic inward control. I prefer the Covent Garden production of 1989 but its marginal. There's an abandon on stage which might be curtailed under more opulent circumstances. 5/10

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Wonderful Ewing in a very good production

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
27 July 2011

I adore Carmen, and would see anything related to it. This Glyndebourne production is very good, albeit not as great as I know it could have been. The costumes and sets are more than satisfactory, the costumes are fine and while some may feel the want of more authentic settings they are far from cheap either. The video directing is fine, the quality has many fine moments but sometimes it's iffy. The music of course is amazing, as are the compelling story and the truly memorable character of Carmen. The orchestra play with plenty of the Spanish flavour that I feel is needed, and Bernard Haitink conducts with assurance. The singing is mostly very good, except for David Holloway's Escamillo who was rather uncompelling and I had the sense the Toreador's Song was too low for him. Barry McCauley is mostly excellent as Don Jose, very reliable in both singing and acting, if occasionally strained in the high register. Marie McLaughlin broke my heart as Micaela, and the chorus are beautifully balanced, but it is Maria Ewing who absolutely nails the tempestuous Carmen that makes the production as watchable as it is. All in all, Ewing is wonderful, the production is very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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