horizontal line

Carmen from Bregenz (2017) is effective. It has three main advantages. Firstly, Es Devlin’s spectacular set – a pair of massive hands that rise from the lake to embrace the stage, throwing giant cards that tumble and spin over the action, and which double as screens to enlarge the stage action. Secondly, Paolo Carignani’s conducting, which combines pace with detail (plus the dialogue is largely shorn). Lastly, Gaëlle Arquez’s knockout Carmen: sexy, charismatic and beautifully sung. Daniel Johansson’s Don José looks understandably bewildered from the word go, his singing a bit rough. But he’s a model of refinement next to Scott Hendricks’ bawled Escamillo. Elena Tsallagova’s soprano is of the right size and hue. The chorus is excellent, Kasper Holten’s staging generally traditional, though its watery setting means that this Carmen comes to an unusually sodden end.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


   Read full review   


To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.



Read more classical music reviews online here:



Opera Now, 2018 - ©Rhinegold Publishing