Gaëlle Arquez imposes her highly effective Carmen with out singing the well-known habanera | Culture | EUROtoday

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The well-known habanera didn’t play on the Teatro Real within the efficiency of Carmen, by Georges Bizet, final Wednesday, March 27. After the looks on stage of the gypsy cigarette woman, singing the recitative that culminates with the resounding for positive in D minor, the cellos didn’t begin the disturbing and lascivious habanera rhythm. And we heard, instead, a effervescent within the flutes, in the important thing of A minor, which launched a colourful aria with a refrain, in 6/8 time and sometimes French, with the identical lyrics that we all know: Love is a toddler of Bohemia.

That was Bizet's first concept when he completed writing Carmen, in the summertime of 1874. The authentic model of his most well-known opera that Bärenreiter will quickly publish. An version by musicologist Paul Prévost that may also embody the opposite two variations thought of authentic of this opera with sung numbers and spoken dialogues (each with the habanera): the one from the March 1875 premiere and the even shorter model that he printed as a rating for voice and piano shortly earlier than his premature dying on the age of 36.

The justification for that minor aria, heard yesterday on the Teatro Real as an alternative of the Havana one, is said to the dramaturgy devised by Bizet. The composer didn’t need to current the protagonist as a robust deadly Woman however like a capricious casserole. And focus her transformation, slightly later, when she seduces Don José and convinces him to let her escape from her, singing the well-known seguidilla Near the partitions of Seville of purely Spanish fragrance. This is acknowledged by the Belgian director René Jacobs (Ghent, 77 years outdated), within the hand program, inside a textual content that may accompany his subsequent recording of this authentic model of Carmen in Harmonia Mundi.

Tenor François Rougier and soprano Sabine Devieilhe, during the first act of 'Carmen', on Wednesday at the Teatro Real.
Tenor François Rougier and soprano Sabine Devieilhe, in the course of the first act of 'Carmen', on Wednesday on the Teatro Real.from Real images

The concept is fascinating, however we didn’t see it on the stage of the Teatro Real. and the wonderful mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez was a mannequin Carmen with out that transformation, since she sang the aforementioned exit aria with the identical vocal voluptuousness because the extremely popular Havana singer. A live performance model of Bizet's opera with the singers and refrain performing among the many orchestra's instrumentalists together with slight costume and lighting particulars. And a efficiency framed inside a world tour of the Ghent director along with the B'Rock Orchestra and the Chœur de Chambre de Namur that began, on March 12, in Antwerp and resulted in Madrid, after passing by way of Paris, Dortmund , Cologne, Bruges and Hamburg.

This early model of Carmen, previous to the modifications, simplifications and cuts that Bizet needed to reluctantly make after six months of rehearsals on the Opéra-Comique in Paris, has many benefits and a few drawbacks. Among the primary, the theatrical part stands out with an beautiful fluidity between the dialogues, melodramas [partes dialogadas con acompañamiento orquestal] and musical numbers. All of that is highlighted by the libretto with dialogues by Henri Meilhac and sung texts by Ludovic Halévy, so impressed by the well-known new by Mérimée (but additionally within the previous narrative poem The gypsiesde Pushkin).

Musically there are a lot of engaging components. The chamber particulars of the orchestration and the way more various and polyphonic profile within the choruses are recovered. But with so many dialogues the opera stretches to a few hours and we miss two of the three orchestral interludes, which Bizet added later to make sure scene modifications. However, what we miss most is the habanera that the composer wrote primarily based on The associationby Sebastián Iradier, to fulfill on the premiere the mezzo Célestine Galli-Marié. A bit that he didn’t write in a rush, as they are saying, however slightly that he created in a dozen totally different variations, as Charles Pigot tells in Georges Bizet and his work (1886).

The efficiency by the B'Rock Orchestra and the Chœur de Chambre de Namur was wonderful, though René Jacobs's conducting didn’t persuade in his first foray into this repertoire. His monotonous gestures ensured the opera flowed with precision and his average tempos didn’t elevate a single second of the primary two acts. Everything improved, after the break, with slightly extra dramatic creativeness within the thrilling struggle between Don José and Escamillo, within the third act, and within the remaining scene, within the fourth.

Jacobs has benefited from a superb interval instrument orchestra in every of its sections. With the silky and velvety sound of the strings led by the Russian Evgeny Sviridov. An beautiful wooden, which featured the Israeli flutist Tami Krausz together with the Leonese Bárbara Ferraz, amongst different Spaniards that this Belgian group has. And a strong interval metallic, regardless of some occasional errors, the place the horns led by Bart Aerbydt stood out with a gorgeous solo within the air by Micaëla. The Namur chamber choir contributed a number of secondary soloists and had a efficiency stuffed with sparkles. They had been joined by the magnificent ORCAM Little Singers originally, but additionally in a superb choir Here they’re! Here they’re! within the remaining act.

The solid was one other excellent factor with cautious dealing with of French prosody and higher feminine soloists. Arquez is probably probably the most excellent present interpreters of the function of Carmen, combining the theatrical and psychological calls for of her character with a vocal roundness stuffed with depth and subtleties. Her applauded lament from the letters within the third act was one of many highlights of the night time. But the opposite star of the solid was soprano Sabine Devieilhe, who elevated Micaëla's fragility and willpower with a memorable aria I say that nothing frightens me within the third act. Even the soprano Margot Genet and the mezzo Séraphine Cotrez had been additionally supreme, respectively, as Frasquita and Mercédès.

Director René Jacobs during the concert version of 'Carmen', on March 27 at the Teatro Real.
Director René Jacobs in the course of the live performance model of 'Carmen', on March 27 on the Teatro Real.from Real images

Jacobs tried to justify within the hand program the selection of the male protagonists the place, in accordance with him, many prejudices reside. And it’s true that Don José doesn’t must be a heroic tenor, however he requires a singer who evolves from sweetness to violence. The tenor François Rougier did so by forcing his instrument, though with out dropping musicality, which allowed him to make sure the demanding pianissimo within the excessive B pure of the flower aria. Regarding Escamillo, Jacobs speaks of sleek baritone and positively Thomas Dolié was an Escamillo as competent as he was mild and forgettable, though he improved within the third act. Good bass Frédéric Caton as Zuniga and baritone Yoann Dubruque as Moralès.

And one other of the highlights of the solid had been the characters most intently linked to the comical opera. This was the case of Le Dancaïre, by Emiliano González Toro, and Le Remendado, by Grégoire Mour. Both highlighted the quintet of the second act, probably the most exemplary ensemble numbers of the night time. Furthermore, their dialogues had been among the many funniest components of the manufacturing and this model has even allowed us to recuperate the spoken character of Lilas Pastia, who was delivered to life, with a humorousness, by the pianist and vocal coach of this manufacturing, Karolos Zouganelis.


Music by Georges Bizet. Booklet by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. Gaelle Arquez, mezzosoprano (Carmen), François Rougier, tenor (Don Jose), Thomas Dolié, baritone (Escamillo), Sabine Devieilhe, soprano (Micaëla), Frédéric Caton, bass (Zuniga), Yoann Dubruque, baritone (Moralès), Margot Genet, soprano (Frasquita), Séraphine Cotrez, mezzosoprano (Mercedès), Carlos Zouganelis (Lillas Pastia) Emiliano González Toro, tenor (Le Dancaïre), Grégoire Mour, tenor (Le Remendado), amongst others. Little Singers of the ORCAM. Namur Chamber Choir. B'Rock Orchestra. Musical path: René Jacobs. Theater Royal, 27 March.

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