I love opera, I love Carmen. Like I say in the review title, Carmen for me is THE french opera, the music is amazing, the title character is so vivid she lives long in the memory and the story is compelling right up to the final scene.
While I do prefer the 1984 film, which is my personal favourite Carmen, this 1980 production is very fine. The picture quality is a little blurry at times, however the costumes and sets are of authentic quality and the sound is great in all the major arias.
The orchestra get the authentic Spanish feel of the score perfectly, and the conducting is as solid as can be. There are some great performances as well. Teresa Berganza is a scintillating Carmen, her voice is luscious and of considerable power, and she manages to be flirtatious and seductive as she should be. I still think Don Jose is one of Placido Domingo's best roles and this production does nothing to change that, his voice is effortless and full of emotion and man can this man act. Katia Ricciarelli is heart-breaking as Michaela while the wonderful Ruggero Raimondi is a superb Escamillo with his rendition of the Toreador Song one of the best renditions there is along with those of Jose Vam Dam, Samuel Ramey and Lawrence Tibbett.
Overall, this is a fine Carmen and worth the watch. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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