Carmen

Georges Bizet

Opera in four acts (1875)
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée
Sung in French with German surtitles

Premiere 
19 July 2018 - 09.15 p.m., Seebühne
Carmen

»Diamonds! Spades! ... Death!« The cards Carmen is using to tell her own fortune do not augur well. She will die, followed by Don José. Briefly in love with him, she then spurns him because he’s not ready to follow her unconditionally and live as a smuggler. She then welcomes the advances of the bullfighter Escamillo.

The fateful moment when Carmen throws the cards into the air gave Es Devlin the idea for her stage design on Lake Constance. The British stage designer has created sets for pop acts like Adele, U2, Take That, the Pet Shop Boys and Kanye West. The playing cards in Kasper Holten’s production can do much more than tell fortunes: they are performing areas for soloists, choral singers, dancers, stuntmen and smugglers. Also, projections on their surface conjure up the different worlds of bullfighting, cartomancy and passionate love.

The melody that French composer Georges Bizet found for the passion of soldier Don José has become immortal, as has the song Carmen sings when she comes out of the cigarette factory where she works, her famous Habanera about the unruliness of love. Her wild dance in Lillas Pastia’s bar, the Seguidilla, the Toreador’s Song and the march into the bullfighting arena are “earworms” too all over the world.

For the Danish stage director Kasper Holten this »opera about destiny and obsession« centres on »two people who are treated as outsiders, whose paths cross and who cling to each other in a passionate but unhealthy relationship«.

Music director Antonino Fogliani | Jordan de Souza
Stage director Kasper Holten
Stage designer Es Devlin
Video designer Luke Halls
Costume designer Anja Vang Kragh
Lighting designer Bruno Poet
Sound designer Gernot Gögele | Alwin Bösch
Choral director Lukáš Vasilek | Benjamin Lack
Choral director children's choir Wolfgang Schwendinger
Choreographer Signe Fabricius
Stunt choreographer Ran Arthur Braun
Dramaturg Olaf A. Schmitt

Cast

Carmen Gaëlle Arquez |​ Lena Belkina | Annalisa Stroppa
Don José Daniel Johansson | Martin Muehle | David Pomeroy
Escamillo Andrew Foster-Williams |​ Kostas Smoriginas 
Micaëla Mojca Bitenc |​ Christina Pasaroiu | Corinne Winters
Frasquita Cornelie Isenbürger | Léonie Renaud
Mercédès Marion Lebègue | Judita Nagyova
Zuniga Yasushi Hirano | Sébastien Soulès 
Moralès Rafael Fingerlos |​ Wolfgang Stefan Schwaiger
Remendado István Horváth |​ Peter Marsh 
Dancaïro Adrian Clarke | Dariusz Perczak

Wired Aerial Theatre |​ Tänzerinnen und Tänzer |​ Statisterie

Bregenz Festival Chorus
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Children's choir of Musikmittelschule Bregenz-Stadt

Vienna Symphony Orchestra​

Prices - Seating Map

 

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Prices (Sunday to thursday)

Festival-Lounge: EUR 340* | Premium Ticket: EUR 240*
Category 1: EUR 135* | Category 2: EUR 125* | Category 3: EUR 108 | Category 4: EUR 85 | Category 5: EUR 65 | ​Category 6: EUR 50 | Category 7: EUR 30

Prices (Friday)

Festival-Lounge: EUR 350* | Premium Ticket: EUR 250*
Category 1: EUR 145* | Category 2: EUR 135* | Category 3: EUR 118 | Category 4: EUR 95 | Category 5: EUR 75 | ​Category 6: EUR 60 | Category 7: EUR 40

Preise (Samstag)

Festival-Lounge: EUR 360* | Premium Ticket: EUR 260*
Category 1: EUR 155* | Category 2: EUR 145* | Category 3: EUR 128 | Category 4: EUR 105 | Category 5: EUR 85 | ​Category 6: EUR 70 | Category 7: EUR 50

* are valid for the semi-staged performance in the Festspielhaus and cannot be exchanged or refunded

Ticket validity if the open-air performance is cancelled or takes place indoors

Bregenz Festival policy is to proceed with open-air performances even if the weather looks inclement, and we wish to stress that performances will go ahead on the lake even in the event of light rain. We therefore recommend visitors to bring waterproof clothing, but not umbrellas, because they obscure the view. Performances on the lake stage run without an interval.

Tickets for Category 1, 2, Festival-Lounge and Premium-Tickets

Printed with the text "gültig für See + Festspielhaus / keine Rückerstattung", these tickets are valid for the semi-staged version in the Festspielhaus in the event that the lake stage performance is cancelled or plays for less than 90 minutes. The tickets are not refundable. If a performance is transferred to the Festspielhaus, Category 1 seats are located in the stalls, Category 2 seats in the circle. Seats that are adjacent in the lake stage auditorium may not be next to each other in the Festspielhaus because of the different seating arrangement.

Tickets for Category 3 to 7

Printed with the text "gültig nur für die Seebühne", these tickets are valid only for the lake stage. If the performance is transferred to the Festspielhaus after playing for less than 60 minutes, ticket holders will have the ticket price refunded or alternatively can exchange the ticket for a later date.

Reviews

The Telegraph – telegraph.co.uk
The lake-stage in Bregenz is a venue for theatrical spectaculars, and Kasper Holten’s production of Carmen on Es Devlin’s extraordinary set was a knockout. […]
[…] In Act III as the beautiful Micaëla of Elena Tsallagova finds the smugglers’ hideout, singing with powerful emotion […]. Then, unbelievably, she climbs above the flying cards that reach 24 metres above the lake, swinging from one to another, a mountaineering feat both daring and terrifying.
[…] The lake itself is part of the production, the front of the stage lowering to create the impression of water rising, and the Act II dance at Lillas Pastia’s gradually becoming a wild water dance. It’s terrific fun. […]
[…] Carmen herself was dramatically performed by Gaëlle Arquez, with Daniel Johansson a strongly passionate Don Jose, under sensitive and energetic musical direction by Paolo Carignani. But it was the staging that really carried the evening, with Anja Vang Kragh’s colourful costumes, Bruno Poet’s excellent lighting and Luke Halls’s video projections that allowed the cards to show varying faces – a queen of hearts for Carmen and knave of clubs for Don Jose. If opera is theatre, and it certainly should be, then this big-audience production serves it brilliantly. […]

Le magazine du monde lyrique – forumopera.com
On vient à Bregenz assister sur la scène de plein air du lac à une grande fête populaire, à du grand spectacle genre music-hall adaptés à l’opéra, à des effets scéniques plus extraordinaires encore qu’à Broadway. […] Les voix sont sonorisées, fort bien il est vrai avec une spatialisation remarquable (par Gernot Gögele et Alwin Bösch) […].
[…] La distribution – très prometteuse – est globalement bien équilibrée, et la prononciation du français plutôt très bonne, y compris pour les chanteurs dont ce n’est pas la langue. La représentation est dominée par Gaëlle Arquez, qui s’est parfaitement adaptée aux contraintes du lieu. […] sa voix de mezzo est magnifique, sans passage, ronde, charnue, sexy, bref propre à faire tourner toutes les têtes. […] Son Don José, Daniel Johansson, est un fort ténor […] dont la haute stature donne au personnage un caractère plutôt dominateur. […] La Micaëla d’Elena Tsallagova n’a rien d’une frêle paysanne, son large et fort soprano donne au personnage une carrure plus inhabituelle, fort intéressante. […] On remarque bien sûr Marion Lebègue, belle Mercédès à la voix chaude, et Sébastien Soulès, Zuniga plein d’autorité jouant de sa belle voix de baryton-basse.
[…] L’ensemble est dominé par l’énorme décor d’Es Devlin représentant les deux mains de Carmen [..] en train de battre des cartes. […] Elles [les cartes] reçoivent des images (vidéos de Luke Halls), qui changent tout au long du spectacle […]. Le procédé, sans être spectaculaire, est plutôt bien réussi […]. Des couleurs suggestives (le rouge pour la mort…) baignent le décor selon le moment, et un feu d’artifice anime la corrida à Séville. Les costumes d’Anja Vang Kragh sont plutôt bien en situation, et les éclairages de Bruno Poet de qualité.
[…] Carmen qui s’échappe en plongeant dans le lac et se sauve d’un crawl viril […] est un joli moment. […]

El Periódico – elperiodico.com
[…] El sonido está amplificado de forma muy sofisticada [...]
[...] El detalle de este decorado es afinadísimo. [...]
[...] Carmen puede ser su gran papel como demostró en Bregenz. [...]
[...] Les acompañaban en los papeles principales y con un buen nivel vocal Kostas Smoriginas (Escamillo), Cristina Pasaroiu (Micaela), Sónia Grané (Frasquita), Judita Nagyova (Mercedes) y Yasushi Hirano (Zúniga).
La dirección de Paolo Carignani impuso un ritmo muy vivo a la Sinfónica de Viena y a los coros de la Filarmónica de Praga, al propio del festival y al infantil del conservatorio de Bregenz.

You can find more reviews here.

Additional information