New state opera “Carmen” celebrated as TV premiere – Vorarlberger Nachrichten


Oh, those were nice times when people could cut their throats in front of everyone and not in the empty State Opera. And how nice it was when the protagonists still had to be afraid of adorable antagonists and not of Corona. But what good is lamenting ?! After the new state opera “Carmen” had to be postponed due to several positive corona tests, she died her stage death on Sunday on ORF III.

While the Georgian Anita Rachvelishvili had recovered in the title role, the sick Charles Castronovo had to be replaced as Don Jose by Piotr Beczala. As a spectator, worse things should happen than the Polish star tenor singing this game. Erwin Schrott gave his Escamillo as an experienced bon vivant who struggled with depth, while the only house debutant of the evening was the Symphony Orchestra chief conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada, who was still young in office, to heat the State Opera Orchestra, regardless of the initial minor carvers.

 The  dominant feature of this evening was, of course, Rachvelishvili, who had made her debut at Scala with her Carmen and has since sung this role at the Met, Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera, among others. So now finally Vienna, and the question of why the big theaters in the world are tearing themselves to the Bizet opera is answered with the first note: Rachvelishvili has a mezzo-soprano that is as powerful as it is shimmering. Simply monumental. In terms of performance, however, her Carmen is more down to earth than most of the time, a worldly appearance, a creature on the street and not just an object of desire.

And so Rachvelishvili’s interpretation is exactly the right one for Calixto Bieito’s direction, which she was able to prove in Paris in 2019 – after all, the work of the now 57-year-old Spaniard belongs to the category of those productions that Neo-Director Bogdan Roscic for the rapid renewal of the repertoire has shopped. In 1999 Bieito started his career as one of the leading opera directors in Europe with this “Carmen” and has already shown this interpretation, which is constantly being refined, in countless cities.


 The  Bieito “Carmen”, to use the meat style, has hung well – has reached an impressive degree of maturity. ©

 The re is no soldier romance here, but a look at the military that is reminiscent of “Full Metal Jacket”. Overall, a raw society is shown, merciless and without decals of Andalusian folklore. ©

 The  barreness of the mostly empty stage is more than enlivened by an outstanding tour guide. In addition, the director creates sensual and meaningful images for non-action interludes. This “Carmen” is an extremely solid work that is extremely suitable for the repertoire, which is far from the excitement of the former “enfant terrible” Bieito.

(SERVICE – “Carmen” by Georges Bizet directed by Calixto Bieito. Musical director: Andres Orozco-Estrada, stage: Alfons Flores, costumes: Merce Paloma, lighting: Alberto Rodriguez Vega. With Carmen – Anita Rachvelishvili, Don Jose – Piotr Beczala, Escamillo – Erwin Schrott, Micaela – Vera-Lotte Boecker, Frasquita – Slavka Zamecnikova, Mercedes – Szilvia Vörös, Zuniga – Peter Kellner, Morales – Martin Häßler, Remendado – Carlos Osuna, Dancaire – Michael Arivony. ©

 The  next performances are planned on May 26th and 29th as well as June 2nd, 6th and 9th.)

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state opera Carmen celebrated premiere Vorarlberger Nachrichten


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