Nate Dorward

Carmen

11 posts in this topic

OK, I know that this is probably a little less... adventurous than most of the postings here. But anyway: my daughter's in the children's chorus in Carmen at the Canadian Opera Company in Jan/Feb. I thought I'd draw on the collective wisdom here & see if members here had some favourite recordings, & also DVDs of stage productions, as I'd like to get her one or two for Xmas. She's already memorized her bits (portions of Act I and IV) but she's keen to absorb the whole thing.

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Callas' is quite something. I agree with this from London Green in "The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera":

"There is a Gypsy quality of mind in her portrayal. For once, we do not have to take the power of this haunting figure on faith; it is as if Callas' Carmen is saying, 'I have experienced, in my own special way, everything: why do we live if not to do so?' Her Carmen is such a gypsy: mythical, if you will -- subtle, adventurous, full of emotional and even intellectual byplay, inviting, and intensely alive beneath the veneer of seductive grace. Even her contempt is bewitching, so that she mocks and magnetizes at the same time."

I also agree with Green's endorsement of "the wit and sexual mystery" of Conchita Supervia's excerpts.

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For a "sane" version on cd I recommend the Beecham recording with Victoria de los Angeles. If you want a completely crazy Carmen, go elsewhere.

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For a change, try Spike Jones' abbreviated version!

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Thanks for the comments...! Anyone have opinions on DVD versions?

The kicker with her participation in the COC staging, by the way, is that all the choir has to be dressed as boys. So it's a trousers role. She seems fine with this, but I gather some of the girls aren't enthused about the prospect...

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Well, I like Kessel (& Spike Jones!) but the point was to get something that would be both enjoyable & also useful as a referencepoint for my daughter's performance. But thanks for the rec anyway.

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fI've recently seen "Carmen Jones" in the movies (with Marilyn Horne singing the part of Carmen for Dorothy Dandridge - and it's very well fitting I found) ... went home to listen to the Callas recording ... and enjoyed it a lot.

Totally fell in love with the French soprano Andréa Guiot who sings the part of Micaëla - her second big feature (... rien ne m'épouvante, Act III) is so beautifully sung, it's hard to believe! Anyone knows more about her? I found very few on the net, hardly any track of recordings, either ... seems the did Gounod's "Mireille" and some who heard it still treasure their memories (but the only release of it I could find that would be available was a K7 in "used/good" condition, which doesn't sound too promising) ... also there's a record with parts of Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hofmann", but that's just about it ... hard to believe such a wonderful singer left so little!

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Paul Jacobs Busoni sonatina Carmen

John Ogdon

 

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On Blu-Ray there's a good version with Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson. It's all shot on location. Beautiful photography and great sound.

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On Blu-Ray there's a good version with Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes-Johnson. It's all shot on location. Beautiful photography and great sound.

I'd second that recommendation. 

Migenes is a sassy, sexy Carmen.

carmen_292197_15114.jpg

 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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