Having never gone to the opera before, it was definitely an experience I’ll remember hopefully for the rest of my life. The day we spent preparing for it kind of made me sure I was going to fall asleep because I just don’t like what I used to term as the “ahhh singing”. (I still don’t, not really). But while we were watching it, the story of Carmen really gripped me. It wasn’t just people singing for no reason, but there was an intricacy in the songs themselves that added to the depth of the story.
The plot of Carmen made me very ambivalent. I liked some characters and not so much for others. Carmen herself was a little meh. I felt like throughout the whole story, she was too selfish for words to describe. Of course, she did warn Don Jose and he did spoil her by giving into whatever she wanted, but it was still annoying to watch her make unreasonable demands of which she was the main focus even when it wasn’t her decision to make. For example, when Don Jose wanted to go back to work after getting out of jail, thereby showing that he wanted to somehow reform his life, she demanded that he become a robber to fit in with her life. I was mind-boggled when he gave in because she ruined his life!
Let’s not forget how the amazing Michaela performed in the opera. That was a bone-chilling, hair-rising aria! It was definitely very powerful and heartfelt, and it gave her more of a purpose that she previously didn’t have.
The best part of the opera, for me, was the conductor and orchestra. I’m usually not a music person, but without the conductor and orchestra, the play would not have been as exciting. When the music became loud and fast, the audience knew this was a tense scene. When it was serene and slow, the audience knew it was a calm scene. The conductor himself would get into the music and half the time I would be compelled by his movements. It was a truly beautiful thing to see him bring all forms of instruments together and create masterpieces. I guess that’s credit to Bizet, who composed all the music for the play hundred of years ago, though.
All in all, the opera was a new experience that is not easy to forget. What I thought would be a snooze-fest kept me awake and interested the whole time. Three hours seemed like a lot but by the end it didn’t even seem like that much time had passed. The story of Carmen was definitely a worthwhile watch in The Metropolitan Opera.