By Georges Bizet
From the Bregenz Festival in Austria
Gaëlle Arquez, Daniel Johansson
Conductor: Paulo Crinani
Director: Casper Holten
"A grandiose production of the exemplary opera ... The film version excels in music ... The Mezzo-soprano [Gaëlle Arquez], in the role of Carmen (beautiful, radiant, but not vulgar), is endowed with a very good soprano."
Haggai Khitrun, Haaretz
One of the flagship productions of the ARIA venture. A huge spectacle from the Bregenz Festival in Austria, which is held on the edge of Lake Constance.
Monumental décor, hundreds of attendees, familiar music full of operatic hits and lots of chorus, guarantee complete enjoyment of this performance by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paulo Carinani and directed by Casper Holten. Carmen is played by French metropolitan soprano Gaëlle Arquez, who has received acclaim and criticism for her performance.
The "Carmen" Opera premiered at the Comic - Paris Opera Theater on 3.3.1875. The first evening of the all-time successful opera was a serious failure. Bizet, the composer, died about 3 months after the debut, at the age of only 37, and did not know his scandalous opera was a huge success.
Why is this a Carmen scandal?
At that time the Paris Opera Comic Theater was under control of the Parisian bourgeoisie. You know, one also came to the opera to be "seen".
The Parisian bourgeois audience used to meet at the opera for business and social life and to bring together the younger generation (late teens and early twenties), with their peers in a cultural and appropriate place.
On stage, the audience loved to see exalted figures wrestling with issues of the common world. Counties, kings and princes who are tormented with romantic and sublime love.
And here, in the premiere of the "Carmen" opera, the audience is frightened by the promiscuity on stage. The heroine is a gypsy, barefoot and brazen. Mentant, provocative, arrogant and promiscuous. Her friends smoke on stage, exposing feet and shoulders.
That operatic "heroine" says "love is a free bird" and dies at the end of the plot about sanctifying the woman's freedom of desire. It was too much for the bourgeois crowd of Paris.
Success began in Italy, a few years later. Then the romantic values were replaced by the realistic stream. The story of "ordinary" people, matched the new flow in art and literature, which sought to describe life, rather than cultivating unreachable ideals, which were the "food" of the Romantic era.
Since then, "Carmen" has been a tremendous success. The opera is presented at about 700 performances a year, in official opera houses and in full performance (on average in two opera houses worldwide every day!).
But more than that, this is the most quoted Opera in film, commercials, Aobdh countless dances, musical, theater, flamenco, inspired painters and sculptors and occasionally heard by ringing cell phones.
This performance of "Carmen" from the Bergentz festival in Austria is particularly grandiose and impressive. This festival presents the operas on a huge stage set on Lake Constance, right in the water.
A rare opportunity to watch the popular and beloved opera in a huge production of one of the world's leading and most prestigious opera festivals.
The French Mezzo-soprano singer has long been crowned a perfect "Carmen". Arquez has sung the role hundreds of times, in the most prestigious opera houses in the world.
For the past two years, she has performed in the Munich, Frankfurt, Madrid, London and Paris Opera houses. Gaëlle Arquez's Carmen is a sensual, impudent, energetic with a deep and dramatic voice. Just as Carmen should be!