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Carmen [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When the DVD version was released in 2010 it was the top selling Deutsche Grammophon DVD for months. It has shipped more than 37.000 units to date.

As well as triumphant successes as Carmen in London, Vienna and Munich, El na Garan a, the Carmen of our day (News, Austria), took New York s Metropolitan Opera by storm in this Met Live in HD performance, transmitted to cinemas around the world and now available for the first time on BluRay.

Every generation has its must see Carmen. The list of definitive gypsy seductresses is now enriched by the Carmen of our time - El na Garan a.

Starring alongside her is star tenor Roberto Alagna as Don José, Barbara Frittoli as his first love Micaëla and New Zealand baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as the toreador Escamillo. The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is conducted by rising star Canadian maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

The Wiener Zeitung said it all when it observed of Garan a s Carmen that the role and the singer are perfectly matched .

Extra material: Backstage at the Met with host Renée Fleming: Interviews with El na Garan a and Roberto Alagna as well as with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Barbara Frittoli, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Christopher Wheeldon

Review

I have never seen the final scene, in which the crazed Don José stabs the fatalistically defiant Carmen, executed with such stunning realism, a dangerous mingling of sex, rebellion and violence: the very essence of Carmen. --The New York Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Elina Garanca, Roberto Alagna
  • Directors: Yannick Nezet-Seguin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, German, English, Spanish, Cantonese
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 207 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0079IJ0R0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,256 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 7, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Prequel: Amazon has correctly listed this review of Carmen with Alagna and Garanca but also wrongly under Gades Carmen (flamenco dance drama).
Unfortunately this sort of double listing is quite common as Amazon's listing software seems to get confused by similar titles.
Reviewers are unable to do anything about this so please be patient and scroll to the performance that you are interested in.
Thanks, Ian Giles.

.................................................

Now that this is finally also available on Blu-ray, many would rate this as the strongest contender for overall best buy especially as it pairs two of the finest singers available today in the key roles of Carmen and Don Jose.

Both Garança and Alagna naturally dominate this production, and as they comment in their brief interview between acts, they both feel that their earlier experience of working together on Carmen in London has enabled them to further develop their working relationship. The result is clear to see as there is an unusually high degree of dramatic tension created between them throughout this production.

In this performance Garança shows Carmen to be effectively focussed on her abilities to generate straightforward sexual desire in men she fancies and, as such, portrays a readily identifiable character type which will be fairly familiar. When apparently spurned she simply wishes to turn her attention to alternative options. This Carmen does not display the same level of inherent vindictiveness to be found in van Otter's Carmen at Glyndebourne or the violent unpleasantness portrayed by Antonacci at Covent Garden for example. This remains a very strong and believable portrayal of Carmen in its own right however and one that Garança clearly revels in.
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Format: DVD
Prequel: Amazon has correctly listed this review of Gades Carmen (flamenco dance drama) under Gades but also wrongly under Bizet's Carmen with Alagna.
Unfortunately this sort of double listing is quite common as Amazon's listing software seems to get confused by similar titles.
Reviewers are unable to do anything about this so please be patient and scroll to the performance that you are interested in.
Thanks, Ian Giles.

.................................................
Carmen flamenco styled dance drama by Gades review

This is probably a good place to start investigating the work of Gades as it is such a well-known plot and well told by Bizet in his opera. However this example of the flamenco art combined with more traditional ballet skills as envisioned by Gades is able to extend the rawness of the emotional impact to an almost frightening degree.

Some background explaining how this fusion of ballet and flamenco came about may be of help at this stage: Gades, as a young man, studied classical dance as well as all the Spanish popular dance idioms. This dual interest and skill enabled him, uniquely, to fuse together the two art forms of ballet and flamenco. He believed that flamenco must also be shorn of all extraneous distractions in order to bring the essence of the dance to light. At this early stage he was also providing the choreography for classical ballet such as Bolero, Carmen and El Amor Brujo for companies such as La Scala. From 1981 he formed the collaboration with Carlos Saura, the film director, which resulted in some of his flamenco-based creations being filmed.
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Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
I have heard and seen many a CARMEN, but never has Carmen been portrayed in such a gloriously slutty way as by Elina Garanca in this Met production! This Latvian diva just oozes blatant sexuality, and I am totally smitten. It doesn't hurt that her mezzo is to die for, and that she is absolutely beautiful to behold. And, as if that weren't enough, she can really dance. When I Googled her, it turns out she's a blonde, but in her black gypsy wig, she owns this role, and I'm having a hard time imagining her singing anything else. If you don't buy another opera this year, don't miss this one!

Now to the rest of the cast:- Roberto Alagna sings Don Jose pretty well, although vocally his best days are behind him and he's getting a little pudgy. His native French helps his enunciation in this role, though. He has sung this part with Elina Garanca before, and they have an obvious rapport. Teddy Rhodes, a New Zealander, was thrust into the role of Escamillo on the morning of the performance, owing to the previous choice becoming unavailable. I found him quite believable, and he doesn't overdo the macho heroic stance, as some have done. Barbara Frittoli, as Micaela, the village girl ousted by Carmen for Don Jose's affection, stretches credibility a bit playing a 17 year old - she is over 40. Vocally, she is fine, and adds some interest to a usually boring subordinate role. But all these are in the shadow of Garanca's Carmen, quite simply the best portrayal of this role you have ever seen or are likely to see. This is really a cagey and nuanced performance.

The Met orchestra responds wonderfully to Yannick Nezet-Seguin's intuitive and rhythmic conducting. A couple of extra dances by the troupe are thrown in for good measure and are expertly performed.
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