Opera North’s Carmen
By Georges Bizet
The Lowry, 1 March 2011
An intriguing production of Carmen from Opera North, set in modern Seville.
Full of wonder and spectacle, the emphasis was squarely on female sexuality: a sun-bathing beauty, her legs and feet oiled by an attendant, who was perhaps the foot fetishist stepbrother from Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella; a scrumptious siren wheeled in on a cake trolley, as pictured above; a pair of flouncy cheerleaders. And there, looking right at home, we see Carmen herself, the role played admirably by Heather Shipp, a fatal flame to the moth of myriad men.
We got the sense, what with such an opulence of feminine glamour being on show, that the guardsmen were policing women themselves (or Woman in the abstract) and the dangerous desires they give rise to. Love managed without great difficulty to infect Jose (the very fine Paul Auty), but then again he was a rookie guardsman. He had not yet been able to build up a resistance. His heart was vulnerable.
There’s no escaping the unfortunate ending, but for much of this production the stage became the scene of a magnificent riot, an unruly vertiginous celebration of the cult of Woman.Explore posts in the same categories: Opera review, Theatre review comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.