English National Opera: Bizet’s Carmen
Bizet’s Carmen by the English National Opera at the London Coliseum.
Hopped on the quarter-price ticket wagon before checking reviews.
Much gratuitous nudity, moving about in tidy whites and other assorted underwear, simulated sex, dry humping, violence, suggested rape etc that got the old men in the front few rows giggling. Courtesy of Catalan bad boy director, Calixto Bieito. Shock tactics = attention-seeking or “truer to the spirit of Bizet’s original conception than most more conventional stagings you’ll ever see”?
Ryan Wigglesworth’s music direction was strangely lyrical, starkly so even when the front rows were doused in on-stage testosterone. The singers were a mixed bag, which led to discussions about whether the priority in opera should be vocals (projection, tonal quality) or stage presence and acting.Ruxandra Donose as Carmen; Elizabeth Llewellyn as Micaëla; Adam Diegel as Don José; Leigh Melrose as Escamillo.