Fluctuation of Carmen

A red lightning bolt strikes right down the center of the stage, as if it were splitting the stage in half. The setting of the rest of the opera is set up with a rotating center stage and realistic backdrops, which changed up between the scenes, from the cigarette factory to the small inn. The rotating stage and backdrops helped create smoother and more effective transitions. The lighting also played a huge part, assisting the music to set the mood of each and every act and scene.

The music begins and quickly captivates the attention of the audience without beginning the first act. The orchestra plays a suspenseful piece while the curtain rises to reveal the rest of the stage, when two dancers, a shirtless man and a fierce young woman, move swiftly and passionately across the stage. Their movements give the audience a slight sense of the explicit emotions that lie between the relationship of the two leading characters, Carmen and Don Jose.

As the two dancers glide back stage, the first plot rolls into action in front of an old cigarette factory. Micaela, played by Kate Royal, innocently asks the soldiers for Don Jose, played by Yonghoon Lee, in her harmonious soprano pitch. The soldiers are all infatuated, asking Micaela to stay with them in their booming voices. The voices of some characters are crisp and clear, even to those in the last row of the theater. Unexpectedly, the female lead did not reach the same expectations as the other characters. Carmen, played by Anita Rachvelishvili, was equally as passionate but her voice seemed to fall short and tremble at times. This did not complement her costume and hair, which suggested her to be the seductive and promiscuous character. Her physical attractiveness did not seem to reach that of Carmen’s – Royal may have been more suited for this role.

Image found on Google

The children of the factory who scrambled on stage did well on their part. Even though there were probably thirty or more of them on stage, with a range of different ages, their performance still impressed the audience. Their movements and voices were unified.

The beginning of the play started off strong and lively; the audience was on the edge of their seats to see how Don Jose would react to Carmen seducing him. The physical infatuation was readily apparent between the two characters. As the second act began, the crowd seemed to lose interest and began shuffling around in their seats. The performance began to lack the enthusiasm that it started off with and seemed to leave the audience hanging with the anticipation the first act had built up. However, the opera seemed to pick itself back up to some extent. It appeared as if Don Jose had planned to kill Carmen, even though it was intended to have shown him killing her out of anger and frustration. Nevertheless, the red lights that turned on, with Carmen’s body laying on stage, left the audience with quite an unforgettable image.

Image found on Google

This performance of the opera was not its fullest potential. The backdrop and rotating stage was very helpful; the costumes and makeup on the characters were very suitable for the plot; however, the singing is only on par but has a lot of potential. The opera started off strong but began to fluctuate and ended off on a note that was disappointing in the end.

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