Carmen I will always consider THE French opera, some may say Faust, that's wonderful too, but I just adore Carmen for the title character and the phenomenal music. As far productions/films go of this opera, my favourites are the films from 1984 with Domingo and Julie Migenes-Johnson and from 1967 with Bumbry and Vickers.
This is a great Met production. I personally think Carmen's death scene could have been a little more dramatic, however when it comes to productions of this opera this one is nearly flawless. The costumes and sets are wonderfully authentic, and this Carmen is photographed very prettily. Toreador's Song, Habanera and the Card Trio are especially effectively staged, and Micaela's act three aria and the Flower song are sung and staged in a very poignant and understated way.
The orchestra play with real vigour and flavour, and James Levine's conducting is superb. The singing cannot be faulted. Waltraud Meier is a scintillating Carmen, Placido Domingo further proves why Don Jose is one of his best roles, Angela Gheorghiu is a touching Micaela and Sergei Leiferkus is very exciting as Escamillo.
All in all, wonderful opera, fine production. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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