Carmen is one of my favourites, and always has been, in fact I consider it THE french opera. I love the 1984 and 1967 films dearly, but this Carmen is one of my favourite ever productions of this terrific opera. On a visual level, this Carmen succeeds, the settings are authentic and the costumes wonderful to look at, Maria Ewing's in particular is stunning. And the picture quality and video directing are fine, as is the sound. Musically I cannot fault it either, the orchestra have so much passion and flavour to its playing and Zubin Mehta's conducting is electric yet allows some pathos in the Flower Song and Je Dis Que Rien Ne M'Enpouvente. The chemistry of the leads is most evident, the fortune telling scene is riveting and Carmen's death scene is one of the more dramatic and better staged interpretations I've seen recently when it comes to that particular scene. Maria Ewing is wonderful as the tempestuous Carmen, and Luis Lima is wholly committed, beautifully-sung and intelligently-acted Don Jose. Micaela is very heartfelt here, while Gino Quillico is one of the more exciting Escamillos I've seen and heard recently. Overall, a fine Carmen. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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