The opera “Carmen” is a recognized masterpiece of world opera music. The story is based on the novel by Prosper Merimee of the same name, though its contents underwent sufficient changes. The writers A. Melliak and L. Gallevi wrote a libretto. They filled it with dramatism, further developed emotional contrasts and created new images and characters, very much different from their prototypes. The center of the flow of events is a beautiful, passionate and free Gipsy girl. The music of the opera, full of light and life, vividly asserts that humankind are free. The national color and the scene of the drama are depicted with great skill. The power of “Carmen’s” optimism is rooted in the inseparable connection of the opera’s characters with their people.
It is the last opera by J. Bizet, which made a thorny way to glory and to the stages of the best world theatres. “Carmen” was first shown in Paris on the 3rd of March 1875 in “Opera Comique” theatre and, strange as it may seem, it was no success, it even was a complete failure. The public was not ready for such realism on the stage, and the papers accused the composer of immorality. But these negative reviews finally made “Carmen” very popular. Thanks in no small part to the triumphant tour of Europe, Russia and America, the opera was back on the stages of Parisian theatres. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote: “The opera by Bizet is a masterpiece; it is one of the few works that are destined to reflect to a great extent the musical expectations of the whole époque. In about ten years “Carmen” will be the most popular opera in the world…”
Speaking about the concept of the future show, its director Georgy Isaakian pointed out: “Like in Merimee’s novel, we will start from Jose’s reminiscences in the condemned cell, and will make this idea the basis for our story. It has always seemed to me, that Carmen looks like an open girl, but in reality she is always alone, and very much on her own. Spain certainly penetrates the performance, but in a very exquisite and cultured way. In this respect we certainly join together the XIX century and the XXI century in our show.”
Conductor – Alexander Anisimov
Director - Georgy Isaakian (Moscow)
Production designer, costume designer – Elena Solovieva
Lighting Designer – Eugene Ginsburg (St Petersburg)
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevi based on the same name novel by Prosper Merimee