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  • Bizet: Carmen [Blu-ray]
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Bizet: Carmen [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Sofie von Otter, Marcus Haddock, Laurent Naouri, Lisa Milne, Philippe Jordan
  • Directors: David McVicar
  • Writers: Georges Bizet
  • Producers: Royal Opera House
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby TrueHD 2.0), Italian (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 2.0), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 229 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001F5IO66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,732 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Anne Sofie von Otter, Marcus Haddock, Laurent Naouri, and Lisa Milne star in this Glyndebourne production of the Bizet opera with Philippe Jordan conducting the London Philharmonic.

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Opinions" 25
  • "Production" 8
  • "Audio" 4
  • "Characters" 3
  • "Story" 2
  • All Topics

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By F. Behrens HALL OF FAME on March 30, 2003
Format: DVD
Possibly the world's most familiar opera, Bizet's "Carmen" has been sound-recorded countless times and exists in about 6 video versions. My favorite has been the DG set with Agnes Baltsa in the title role because of her humorous portrayal of the gypsy, the use of spoken dialogue and the fine sets used for this Metropolitan Opera production. Now I might have to put, if not above it, at least very near to it the BBC Opus Arte DVD of "Carmen" (OA 0868 D).
On the negative side, both the Don Jose (Marcus Haddock) and the Escamillo (Laurent Naouri) are monochromatic actors, the first eternally angry, the second eternally pompous. I am afraid that Mr. Haddock simply does not look the part of the attractive officer, and his Micaela (Lisa Milne) looks a bit more matronly than "la petite." The sets on the Glyndebourne Festival Opera stage are squalid (the opening chorus may sing "Sur la place" but they are inside their barracks enclosed by metal fences) for the first three acts, forcing all the action downstage and crowding the chorus, to the detriment of any real movement. Act IV gives us only a blank wall outside the bull ring.
When the men sing about how each of the girls has a cigarette between the teeth, the subtitles are silent because few of them are smoking. But that is only one of the two times I spotted a discrepancy between the words and the visual. The audience applauds only three or four of the numbers, possibly asked not to applaud at all for the sake of the video taping; but they are quite enthusiastic at the end of each act.
Now for the good points and there are many. I don't think I ever heard as much of the spoken dialogue in any recording, so we are given much more information than usual about the characters.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G P Padillo VINE VOICE on August 31, 2004
Format: DVD
I'll admit to huge reservations about one of my favorite mezzo's taking this role I never felt would be right for her, but Anne Sofie von Otter is the Carmen of one's dreams - or nightmares. A more gutter wenchy, ballbusting, shrewish, trash talking, vulgar Carmen I've never seen. To the critics who last summer asked "what man would ever want a woman like that?" all I can say is von Otter is so overtly sexual and raw that she makes Carmen something she has not been for me for a very long time - dangerously fascinating. This is not like any Carmen's I've seen the last last 20 years, coming more closely to Peter Brooks "Tragedie" - even outdoing it.

This Carmen is also one of the very best ensemble acted operas I've seen in ages and after one viewing is ready to be placed at the top of my DVD list.

To be sure, this will not be a Carmen to everyone's liking; it's rude, crude, violent, and emotionally dark - with an almost Dickensian quality that sends it and all its characters across the screen with a voltage that positively burns.

David McVicar's production was described as "exhilirating" and that is almost an understatement. This Carmen includes more dialogue than I ever recall hearing, making far more sense of the entire story and integrating every aspect into a taut, cohesive melodrama that I felt I was watching Carmen for the very first time.

Marcus Haddock fares far better as Jose than he did in the recent Met "Fausts" showing what, with real rehearsal time, good direction and collaboration he is capable of. It's not a voice that many would describe as beautiful, but he uses it with passion, attention to detail, text, and some exquisite shading (most notably in Jose's "Flower Song.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Thistle Brown on March 18, 2003
Format: DVD
I would have been very happy to give this five stars. It's Bizet's original idea with spoken recititives and the French is darn good. Von Otter presents a very interesting, not only sexy, but erotic take on the role (also in line with Bizet's ideas) and everyone but Escamillo is excellent. So, okay, this Don Jose isn't Domingo, but neither is Domingo, no matter how much I love him. Excamillo's acting is just fine, but my preference is a bit more heft to the baritone. My only serious complaint and, thus, the three stars, is the sound, which is so bloody awful, I end up being my own sound engineer by tuning up and down constantly. At times, one can barely hear Von Otter over the crashing orchestra and this problem lies, in this case, with the engineers, not the conductor (unless I'm very much mistaken). The sets and costumes are wonderful and the whole production is delightful; if only I had heard it live....
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Plaza Marcelino on June 15, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Collectors of opera on dvd will definitely have to take a very attentive look at the BBC Opus Arte releases. This Carmen is a complete knock-out, looked at whatever angle you wish: musically, visually, presentation-wise, you name it. The performance was taped during last year's Glyndebourne Festival, Anne-Sofie von Otter was 46 (she was born in 1955) and at that wondrous age of feminine attractiveness, she became a tigress of a Carmen, a rôle few expected her to take on so successfully at that stage in her impeccable career.
To begin with, forget about the classic dark-haired and -eyed castanets and peineta-clad cliché we've been seeing since time immemorial, as regards the Carmen character, and forget also about any misgivings you might have had on this hitherto often called "swedish ice queen" taking on a rôle so many supposedly "warmer-blooded" singers have so successfully brought on stage since the work saw the light over a century ago. What you have here is a fiery red-haired, blue-eyed, erotically super-charged whirlwind of a woman, on whom the world is centred since the very first moment we see her bursting on the upper part of the stage with a sonorous whistle. Von Otter is not only physically stunning to look at throughout, she'll also amaze you vocally and absolutely reinvents the character, a Carmen wholly of her own. I guess David McVicar, the enfant terrible of theatrical stages both sides of the Atlantic, has had his fair share in this rethinking of the character, but I doubt he'd been so successful had he had any other singer at hand.
The other singers are no less good.
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