Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Problem with Carmen

From CBC Music:
George Bizet’s tale of love, lust and betrayal is one of opera’s most familiar stories. Carmen herself is arguably the most famous character in all of opera — but does anyone actually understand what makes her tick?

Canadian mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy has sung the role a number of times throughout her career. “Carmen is very intelligent, extremely quick witted and tremendously fun,” she explains. “This is all part of her appeal.” But, McHardy surmises that any deeper knowledge of Carmen’s inner life is beside the point. “I don’t know that we want to know more about her,” she says. “We want to see that iconic femme fatale, period.”

That “femme fatale” interpretation is pretty much the default for Carmen, both onstage and onscreen. From Elīna Garanča’s anger to Anita Rachvelishvili’s joie-de-vivre to Julia Migenes’ smirking seductiveness, the character is known and celebrated for being the very embodiment of sex appeal, and is almost always portrayed with big hair, open shoulders, big bust, and bare feet. (Read more.)

No comments: