Bizet: Carmen (DVD) – Jonas Kaufmann, Vesselina Kasarova

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Bizet: Carmen (DVD) – Jonas Kaufmann, Vesselina Kasarova

Composer: Georges Bizet
Artists: Jonas Kaufmann, Vesselina Kasarova, Isabel Rey, Michele Pertusi, Morgan Moody, Krešimir Stražanac, Sen Guo, Judith Schmid, Choruses of the Opernhaus Zürich, Orchester der Oper Zürich
Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst
Director: Matthias Hartmann
Format: NTSC
Language: French
Subtitles: French, English, German
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Decca
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2014
Run Time: 166 minutes

In 2008 the Opernhaus Zürich staged this magnificent production starring virtuoso tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Don José and the Bulgarian Vesselina Kasarova in the title role.

Mezzo-soprano Kasarova is dazzling as the tough-as-nails, beautifully unsentimental heroine. Kaufmann brilliantly portrays the blustering but naive Don José as a modern contrast of hard-edged machismo and out-of-his-depth vulnerability.

Director Matthias Hartmann refreshes one of the greatest and most popular operas of all time with touches of a contemporary setting and costume designs that emphasize the timeless archetypes of the characters, and Franz Welser-Möst conducts Bizet’s score with chiselled detail.

This production enthralled audiences with the visceral physical quality of the performances, enhanced by a single panoramic set for all four acts that is stripped of the traditional Spanish styling.



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History

Carmen

Georges Bizet’s Carmen, which takes place in and around Seville, Spain tells of the downfall of a soldier, Don José, seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy, Carmen. José abandons his sweetheart and his military duties for Carmen, yet loses her love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.

Among the best-known of all operatic arias are Carmen’s “Habanera” from Act 1, sung by the title character and the toreador’s song, “Votre toast” in Act 2, performed by the matador Escamillo.  

On January 9, 1884, Carmen was given its first Metropolitan Opera performance. Thereafter it was quickly incorporated into the Met's regular repertory. By the beginning of its 2018/2019 season the Met had performed Carmen well-over a thousand times.

Though the March 3rd,1875 world premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris was a scandal, Carmen, soon became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world. Three months after its 33rd performance, Bizet died suddenly at the age of 37 never knowing how immensely popular Carmen would become.

 

 

 

 

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