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Carmen: The Metropolitan Opera (Levine) [DVD] [2000] [NTSC]

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: James Levine, Agnes Baltsa, Leona Mitchell, José Carreras, Samuel Ramey
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy, Prosper Mérimée
  • Producers: Karen Adler, Samuel Paul
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Chinese
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Nov. 2000
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050X2Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,543 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Don José is a guard who begins an affair with the tempestuous Carmen. He is imprisoned and loses his job, then flees with her to the mountains. When the relationship starts to break down José refuses to acknowledge it, and will not leave even when he gets news that his mother is dying. Carmen meanwhile has taken up with the bullfighter Escamillo. The performers are Agnes Baltsa, Jose Carreras, Leona Mitchell, Samuel Ramey, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet. James Levine conducts.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A fantastic record of a live performance Broadcast from the Met in the late 1980's. As you would anticipate the production is both spectacular and overblown - complete with horses and a cast of 1000s. So much for a small tavern in Seville - this one would make the largest hotels look spartan.
But the performance contains fantastic performances from all 4 principals. Mitchell is a sweet innocent, if slightly nervous Michaela on what was her Met debut; Ramey a flamboyantly virile, wonderfully sung Escamillo; Carreras is maybe not your ideal Don Jose, and can be wooden but sings beautifully throughout. However the real star is the great Agnes Baltsa - a hugely dramatic, fantastically sung performance at the peak of her career.
The orchestra under Levine play the familiar score in spectacular fashion - making the most of every moment.
This can be a hackneyed opera, suffering from over familiarity. But this is a performance that reminds you of precisely why it is still one of the most popular, and greatest, operas written.
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If you want to see a big production of Carmen produced at it's finest and with it's finest you must see the DVD.
I so loved Agnes Baltsa who sings this piece with technical delight. A wonderful cast and James Levine conducting has to be heard.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Had this version on tape a while ago' and was glad to find it on d.v.d. jose carreras is by far my favourite 'don jose'. I have seen several versions of this opera,and although i know nothing of technicalities in opera or the prodution process,for me no one puts in a performance like Carreras,and Agnes Baltsa,the final act in partiular i find wonderful.
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Staging:

One of the first things I noticed watching this rendition of Carmen is the staging. The staging really captures its setting making you disappear in the world of Carmen.
Even though the staging is very impressive it is never hard on the eyes and does not distract.

Music:

Levine's conducting is superb and makes Bizet's masterpiece come to life.
Agnes Baltsa's Carmen is not only sung well but she also looks and acts the part.
Despite Carreras being a lyrical tenor and Don José being a Spinto tenor role, he really sings the part well and is one of my personal favorites for the role.
However, Samuel Ramey's Escamillo was the part that impressed me the most, the sheer power of his voice is incredible.

Conclusion:

I have seen many a version of Carmen on DVD and I've seen it live as well. Thus far this Carmen is my favorite and I do not see that changing anytime soon.
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Format: DVD
I am a bit of a glutton for Carmen, I have six versions, but one is potted. Needless to say being The Met the opening set is on a grand scale. Agnes Baltsa is an excellent Carmen both in voice and acting ability. All the Carmens are good but Maria Ewing in the Glyndebourne does have an edge on the others.
Leona Mitchell has a beautiful voice, I love it, but it is a bit mature for Micaela.
Carreras does not seem quite at home acting Don Jose, but needless to say his singing is excellent.
In act two the Lillas Pastia cafe is well represented. The opening dance is quite exciting. A real treat ensues when we are introduced to Escamillo, this is Samuel Ramey at his best, excellent voice and creditable acting. The double act of the smugglers is well done.
In act three the mountain is up to standard, but for me the highlight is Myra Merrit and Diane Kesling whose voices blend beautifully over their fortune telling.
Act four has large buildings framing the set and a goodly crowd, the crowd parts to allow a Met style procession of the Matadors, it is of course impressive.
The dramatic ending is well done Baltsa resisting the passionate pleas of a still slightly stilted Carreras.
There is not one of my Carmens that I would do without, this is overall a good production.
The booklet has a creditable synopsis by scene and separate timings. It also has an array of photographs.
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Format: DVD
This is an excellent production especially with Jose carreras and Samuel Ramey in excellent form. Both artists are perfect for their roles in vocal quality, visual appearance and acting. Buy this for the performances of both these artists if for nothing else and your money will be well spent
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Format: DVD
Just a heads up: this is not the Zeffirelli production in the recent Met matinee broadcast which sounded so interesting, but the Met's previous production.
The first act set in particular is monumental but not in a nice way as the set is dark and rather forbidding and the costumes are largely in very sober colours. There is not enough sense of light to suggest that we are in sunny southern Spain in the two outer acts which are set in the street. There are several close-ups of the choruses in these two acts which only led this viewer to wonder if any of the chorus members had a clue as to what they were supposed to be doing. Several instances of chorus members looking into the camera so this aspect very amateurish and felt more like a dress rehearsal. Whilst the singing by the soloists is indeed fine -especially Carreras- I did not often feel that the acting amounted to anything more than some highly professional singers going through the motions. My advice would be to wait until somebody brings out a DVD of the current, Zeffirelli production.
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