Carmen, Royal Opera House - ★★★★☆ - Jun 22 to Jul 20, 2019

Carmen meets "Chicago." If you want to see Bizet's opera, avoid this production. However, if you want to see a brilliant spectacle with all the big tunes, this one could be for you. Barrie Kosky, the director whose smashing "Magic Flute" I loved, rides roughshod over the traditional version with cuts, additions and a dire voice-over narrator. Reading the programme, I can see where he's coming from - just. With only one set - a vast staircase - mainly monochrome costumes and stylised lighting, it looks tremendous as a "show." However, it removes all realistic action and much of the narrative just for affect. It seems like a cross between "Chicago" and "Moulin Rouge" as conceived by Brecht. The singing is, of course, terrific. Carmen is great and looks stunning - almost Dietrich at times. The other principals and the chorus are tremendous. Go see this show, but don't expect a realistic production!

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆★ 

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Jun 22 - Jul 20, 2019
Royal Opera House
Nearest tube: Covent Garden

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