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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Carmen I've seen
When looking for Carmen on DVD I read the reviews and picked this one because of the special staging ant the flamenco extra and I was not disappointed!
A grand-scale production with a large cast of 80,beautifully staged and with an extra 10 minutes flamenco dance.
Maria Ewing combines great singing with powerful acting.Her Carmen is vivid,sensual and full of...
Published on 29 Sep 2002 by Edgar Sanilevich

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carmen as entertainment spectacular.
Bizet - Carmen

This is Carmen writ large in a spectacular production at Earls Court, and brilliantly succeeds as such, extending Carmen to an audience that would not otherwise watch opera.

However this is not for dedicated opera lovers, the vast cast does nothing to add to the dramatic meaning of the work, (in fact it detracts). Sound was obviously a...
Published on 10 Dec 2008 by Amazon Customer


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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Carmen I've seen, 29 Sep 2002
By 
This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
When looking for Carmen on DVD I read the reviews and picked this one because of the special staging ant the flamenco extra and I was not disappointed!
A grand-scale production with a large cast of 80,beautifully staged and with an extra 10 minutes flamenco dance.
Maria Ewing combines great singing with powerful acting.Her Carmen is vivid,sensual and full of passion.
The best Carmen I have seen.
If you want to "hear" the opera then you may find better versions on CD,but if you want to"see" the opera, this is the DVD to buy!
I liked the staging,the choreography and the acting.
I give it only 4 stars because of the supporting casting which is good but no more.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fully Recommended, 2 Aug 2002
By 
Colm Corcoran (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
Maria Ewing performance in this stage production is second to none, as too is the supporting cast. The set, lighting and stage production are absorbing, so much so, it's nearly tactile. The soundtrack is, without being overly enthused, just brilliant in full HiFi. I fully recomment this production on DVD.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carmen as entertainment spectacular., 10 Dec 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
Bizet - Carmen

This is Carmen writ large in a spectacular production at Earls Court, and brilliantly succeeds as such, extending Carmen to an audience that would not otherwise watch opera.

However this is not for dedicated opera lovers, the vast cast does nothing to add to the dramatic meaning of the work, (in fact it detracts). Sound was obviously a major challenge and although exciting feels manipulated and compressed (I was listening in stereo on AKG K240 Studio Professional headphones) and the voices (particularly the male singers) sound synthetic with a bright edge.

Maria Ewing is a superb Carmen, her first entrance and performance of the Habanera is electrifying, and I am frustrated that her performance is embedded in a setting that in every other respect is routine and leaves me cold.

However well worth watching for Maria Ewing who appears to revel in the occasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carmen, Bizet, 13 Nov 2011
This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
(This Is not a review of the Glyndebourne production, I tried to get it removed but nothing happened.)

Bizet's Carmen is a French opera set in Seville, Spain. It tells the story of the fiery temptress Carmen (Maria Ewing), who seduces the corporal Don José (Jacques Trussel). He falls in love with her, causing him to end his relationship with his fiancee, MicaŽla (Miriam Gauci). Due to José's growing obsession with her,Carmen leaves him for a bullfighter, Escamillo (Alain Fondary) and tragedy follows.

Maria Ewing is brilliant as Carmen, her deep rich mezzo voice creates a fiery effect on the audience, sounding stunning. Her wonderful acting skills also helped and combining this with her beautiful voice makes Ewing one of the best Carmen's I have seen and heard.

Soprano Miriam Gauci's performance was excellent. Her rendition of the aria, "Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante", was heart achingly beautiful and exquisite to hear.
However, tenor Jacques Trussel, was not in the same standard as the other main singers. His performance was adequate, good when singing more subtle arias, but was too rough when singing the bigger pieces. For his performance I have taken off one star.

The second star off is due to the quality of the DVD. In the last two acts the subtitles come on the screen a little bit after the words have been sung, but the main point is the singing and there is nothing wrong with the sound.

Performed in Earls Court, this production has sublime singing and fantastic performances from the Ewing and Gauci. If you prefer traditional set designs, this version may not be the one for you, as it is very simplistic. If you prefer grander sets and would like to see Ewing perform Carmen, then purchase the Glyndebourne DVD.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carmen - Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1985, 6 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Bizet : Carmen [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Maria Ewing is mesmorising. I have never seen a more real interpretation of Carmen.
The direction really draws you into the life of the characters and the surroundings. Settings, costumes and of course the conducting is impeccable.
This production has to be seen and enjoyed. You are transported to another place which is what theatre is supposed to do.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable, 20 July 2010
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This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
This is a film of a performance "in the round" in an arena. I found the location very distracting as were the obvious moving around of props during the performance. The whole set up, to me, was disconcerting and prevented me from fully enjoying it. A great pity because the performance itself was good.
A different location and I would have rated it as 90%.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maria Ewing is superb, 4 Dec 2011
By 
I. Zaneres (west midlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bizet : Carmen [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This 1985 production stands up very well. The opening street scene has some nice details. The costumes are very good.
With the entry of Marie McLaughlan she establishes herself as the Micaela that all others should ascribe to. No other artiste captures the age of the girl as this girl does. She can also produce some very sweet notes. The childrens chorus are worthy of attention. The cigarette girls are sultry and smokey, they, when bickering and scuffling and harassing the guards look very realistic.
When Maria Ewing appears she proves to not only have the voice, but to be a superb actress, she means every word she sings.
Barry McCauley as Jose does not seem at home in the role, and sounds strained at times.
In act two the Lillias Pasta set is pretty good, the gypsy dance is well executed, and Ewing can produce a nice line in twirls.
The Escamillo of David Holloway is elegant and is passable vocally. In their confrontation Ewing acts her socks off, McCauley is as animated as a shop dummy.
Depraz as Zuniga is worth a mention singing and acting well in this cameo role.
Perhaps the highlight of this act is the quintet of Carmen, her friends and the smugglers. They have a great combination of voices.
In act three Collier and Rigby do a wonderful interpretation of fortune telling, they both have fine voices. McLaughlan again proves she is the outstanding Micaela. The fight between Jose and Escamillo is not bad but I have seen better.
Act four starts with a well executed scene of organised chaos in which the children play an enthusiastic part. The parade has quite good costumes for the Matadors.
In the final confrontation between Jose and Carmen, McCauley does improve a bit but is prone to wandering lost around the stage. Maria with eyes flashing defiance accentuates his limitations.
To summarise Ewing is the best Carmen of all six versions that I have seen. This is worth owning for her alone. Similarly McLaughlan is streets ahead of all other Micaelas. In every version Frasquita and Mercedes have superb proponents. If you want the best Escamillo, try The Met with Samuel Ramey. In truth though all versions have excellent Carmens.
Synopsis and chapters are printed on the inside cover in the absence of an accompanying booklet.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for Maria Ewing, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
If it was not for Maria Ewing I would have only awarded one star. For some inexplicable reason, she is dressed in black while performing against a dark background. Others have mentioned the sound problem - yes there is all too often a balance problem. Opera Houses are really good at staging these days, and this production does not threaten them. The recorded format is 4:3 which really is a 'blast from the past'. However Maria has real star quality and does her best to rescue this otherwise forgettable production
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars carmen, 17 May 2009
This review is from: Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (DVD)
The Bizet - Carmen [DVD] (Purchased on 16/04/2009)
by Gavin Taylor arrived within a day of ordering. I had purchased it as a gift for a friend and they were delighted with it.
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