Bizet in 70's Spain
Palma's Teatre Principal opens its 34th annual opera season with a groundbreaking, though some might say controversial, production of Bizet's Carmen.
The reason for all the fuss is Calixto Bieito, the creative mind behind this production, whose challenging interpretations of stage and opera classics have been dismissed by some as pornographic sensationalism and praised by others as revelatory.
His interpretation of Carmen sets the opera in 70's Spain at the end of the Franco era when the country was set for incredible social changes. The Guardian says “Calixto Bieito’s take on Bizet’s Carmen is tough, dark, spare and intelligent,” whilst The Spectator opines, “Calixto Bieito’s Carmen: three words to make an opera critic’s heart leap.”
The story's the same as always, a mix of seduction, unfaithfulness, jealousy, violence, and drama, largely centred on an old Mercedes Benz (which blocked the street by the theatre when it arrived this week) and an added frisson of Bieito’s naughtiness, which makes this show unsuitable for youngsters or the easily offended!
As usual the main stars have been brought in from the world stage - Italian mezzo-soprano Annalisa Stroppa is Carmen, while Don José is depicted by Andeka Gorrotxategi – but the rest of the cast are all local singers.
You can catch it on March 01 at 6pm, March 04 at 8pm, March 06 at 8pm, and March 08 at 6pm. Its 4 acts last around 150 mins with a break of 30 mins during which time beer, wine and ham rolls are served (try getting a ham roll at Covent Garden) and tickets will cost from €10 to €65 (try getting in to the ENO for that price!)
Buy tickets online here – Carmen.