Conductor: Carlo Montanaro
Director & set designer: Dante Ferretti
Carmen: Nino Surguladze
Micaela: Irina Lungu
Frasquita: Alexandra Zabala
Mercedes: Paola Gardina
Don Jose: Philippe Do
Escamillo: Simone Alberghini
Le Dancaire: Francis Dudziak
Le Remendado: Emanuele D’Aguanno
Zuniga Nicolas: Courjal
Prima Ballerina: Anbeta Toromani
Sferisterio Opera Festival 2008
PROGRAM INFORMATIONS: The genesis of the opera still presents many rather unclear aspects, though it does seem that it was Bizet himself who proposed Merimee’s novella of the same name to the librettists Meilhac and Halevy as a subject for his new opera.
Merimee’s popular novella had been written almost thirty years previously, and the two librettists made various adjustments to the plot of the story to make it more effective on stage. First of all, they created the character of Micaela, the ”good” heroine set against the amoral Carmen - so as to satisfy the more traditional tastes of the middle-class audience of the Opera-Comique.
They also lent greater dramatic weight to the character of Escamillo, who in Merimee’s original has a wholly accessory role. Bizet’s wretched Don Jose is also a little different from Merimee’s. After deserting and becoming a smuggler, Don Jose, overwhelmed by jealousy, commits a single murder killing Carmen at the end of the opera. In the novella, on the other hand, he is guilty of at least three murders.
On the whole the libretto brings about a sort of attenuation of the more crudely truculent verismo-style characters in the novella, steering the story towards fantastic exoticism to which the supreme clarte of Bizet’s music lends elegance. Despite this, in many countries - and especially in Italy - a tradition was soon imposed of interpreting the opera in a markedly realistic manner, making Carmen a sort of unwilling forerunner of verismo opera, and thus betraying its original musical character.
The fact that the leading characters in the drama were not, as in the tradition, people of elevated status but simple folk, obviously facilitates this approach. It is indeed a well known fact that the opera was performed all over the world mainly in the Italian language and this must have helped promote performances of a verismo taste.
Carmen initially seemed to be an opera that was too innovative, which led to immediate accusations of immorality, of subversive taste and of a lack of melody.
Though critics were initially cool and the public upset and in spite of the initial uncertainty, Carmen was soon being performed all over the world with growing success.
STRONG POINTS AND REVIEWS: Macerata’s new Carmen marked the debut in opera direction for the home-child Dante Ferretti, the set designer who scored no less than nine nominations and two Academy Awards.
Despite his involvement with Hollywood pageantry, Ferretti devised a minimalist set drawing from Francoist Spain during the 1930s-40s, as depicted, among others, by Luis Bunuel’s movies and Ernest Hemingway’s novels. A touch of Italian Neorealismo is also clearly recognizable.
To quote Ferretti ” the most relevant element on stage must be the emotional reaction stirred by the story ” and ”what strikes the most on the Sferisterio stage is the emptiness that leaves room for imagination” And also:” Light .is a basic element to enhance the singers’ voices and acting skills.
Bizet’s opera is imbued with passion, betrayal and the singers must have room to express their talent.”
” ...a highly ”musical” and talented cast (Nino Surguladze, Irina Lungu, Philippe Do).”M. Zurletti - La Repubblica - 28-07-08
The singing cast fared well overall, with Irina Lungu a sexier and more assertive Micaela than usually expected and Nino Surguladze vocally perfect”
”As a passionate and lightweight Don Jose, Philippe Do from Vietnam ventured a high D in his ”La fleur”. If not perfect throughout, his unconventional performance was stimulating.”
”To all that, Sergio Rossi’s clever lighting and prima ballerina Anbeta Toromani from Albania contributed a touch of class. Toromani’s amazingly long-limbed body seems a display of pinnacles and acute-angled forms. Whether in a traditional pas de deux or in modern free style, she can entice with serpentine motions of a very intimate character, then suddenly whirl through the air like a winged flower.”
Carlo Vitali - Opera Today - 28-08-2008
【曲目】 DVD 1
03. Sur la place (Chorus)
04. Avec la garde montante (Chorus)
05. C’est bien la (Zuniga)
06. L’amour est un oiseau (Carmen)
07. Quels regards! (Don Jose)
08. Que se passe-t-il donc la-bas? (Chorus)
09. Coupe-moi, brule-moi (Carmen)
10. Pres des remparts de Seville (Carmen)
02. Les tringle des sistres (Carmen)
03. Vivat, vivat le Torero! (Chorus)
04. Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (Escamillo)
05. Nous avons en tete une affaire (Quintet)
06. Halte-la, qui va la? (Don Jose)
07. Je vais danser en votre honneur (Carmen)
08. Hola, Carmen, hola (Finale)
02. Ecoute, compagnon (Sextet and Chorus)
03. Melons, coupons (Trio)
04. Quant au douanier (Ensemble)
05. Air: C’est des contrebandiers (Micaela)
06. Je suis Escamillo (Escamillo/Don Jose)
07. Hola, hola Jose! (Finale)
02. A deux cuartos (Chorus)
03. Si tu m’aime (Escamillo)
04. C’est toi? C’est moi! (Carmen/ Don Jose)
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