Behind the near-mythical figure of the emancipated woman, the dazzling spectacle of the group tableau and vibrant seduction of the Spain of dreams, all its authenticity and brilliance have been restored to the world's most performed opera in the opera house where it was first performed in 1875. A veritable back to the origins for the masterpiece by Georges Bizet, who died at the age of thirty six, only a few weeks after finishing his controversial work, the tremendous success of which he was ever to know. By presenting it here in a brand-new version with instruments of the period, in an endeavour to rekindle the original musical and theatrical flame, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Adrian Noble have reconstructed the unusual movement of the chorus and difficult dialogue between characters as a human, carnal tragedy.
Andre Clutyens conducts the Orchestra De La Societe Des Concerts Du Conservatoire through two works by Bizet, his L’Arlesienne and Carmen Suites. These two masterpieces have melodic and instrumental similarities that are brought to an emotional climax through Clutyens’ guidance. The remastered sound captures every nuance and instrumental subtleties. A masterful performance…in Stereo!
Musically, the production is excellent. Béatrice Uria-Monzon is a smart…Roberto Alagna is in excellent voice, too, offering honeyed tones that never disguise his passion or his potential for violence…Erwin Schrott is an impressively self-confident Escamillo…The other roles are well handled-and Marc Piollet and the orchestra provide a high-contrast palette, with plenty of detail and vitality. Sound is first-rate, as is clarity of the picture; and the patient and luxurious camerawork avoids the hyperactivity that mars so many opera videos these days. All in all, then, a very good Carmen… (Fanfare)
Phil Carmen (born Herbert Hofmann, February 14, 1953 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Swiss musician and producer of Canadian heritage. Carmen grew up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and in Lucerne, Switzerland. In Lucerne, he went to the Conservatory, but later studied bookkeeping. In 1975, he decided to turn to music. With bassist Mike Thompson (born Marcel Galuzzi), he founded the duo Carmen & Thompson, playing especially country music.