ROH Encore Screening: Bizet’s Carmen

The young soldier Don José intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village. But when he meets the sensual and fiercely independent Carmen, he sacrifices everything to be with her. Carmen grows bored of Don José and falls in love with Escamillo. Unable to bear her leaving him, Don José tracks Carmen down and…

Pre-performance talk by Charlotte Valori: Bizet and Carmen

Come along to the Fisher Theatre bar before their screening of the Royal Opera House’s sizzling new production of Carmen, directed by Barrie Kosky, to find me talking briefly about Bizet and his Carmen, packing as many interesting facts into ten minutes as I can… Talk: 1:30pm (free) – Click here to join this event on…

Bizet’s Carmen, OperaUpClose, Soho Theatre

There is no definitive edition of Bizet’s Carmen. In January and March 1875, two different editions of the score were published, neither of which match the conducting score for its premiere (also March 1875, at the Opéra Comique, Paris). As a result, musicologists differ as to Bizet’s true intentions for Carmen and its characters: the work is free…

The Boys from Bohème: An Unexpected Opera Chat Show

I have to start this review with a confession: the more you go to Unexpected Opera shows, the harder it gets to remain objective about them. As I’ve now seen more than one, I’m afraid my judgement on these is probably compromised already. This very seldom happens to a critic – opera critics most of…

Bonkers, busy Bizet: Pop Up Opera’s Le docteur Miracle

Bizet’s Le docteur Miracle is no serious opera: it is, by contrast, frivolous in the extreme. Uniquely among operettas, it contains a (beautifully-written) quartet in praise of an omelette – which turns out to be inedible, though musically mouthwatering. A sense of paranoid surrealism abounds. There’s something innately French about proceedings, yet it plays directly to British sensibilities…