Culture Monster

All the Arts, All the Time

« Previous Post | Culture Monster Home | Next Post »

Reimagining 'Carmen'

March 3, 2011 |  3:48 pm


On this day in 1875, "Carmen" got its first performance in Paris. It was a disaster. Critics and the public panned it, and near the end of the run, the Opéra Comique had to paper the house to boost ticket sales. It wasn't until performances in Vienna later the same year that the opera took its first steps on the the road to ubiquity.

The opera has been filmed nearly 40 times already (not counting DVDs of productions), but on Saturday, "Carmen" is set to take a giant leap forward when a Royal Opera production opens as a 3D movie at theaters around the world.

In honor of "Carmen's" birthday, Colorado's Central City Opera asked, via Twitter, for readers' favorite adaptation of the opera's music.

Above is a keeper: Elmo & Denyce Graves performing in "Opera Lullaby," backed up by the Sheep Chorus.

Keep reading for a  few of the more clever reimaginings of the Habanera we found on YouTube. There are plenty more out there, so please do let us know what your nomination is.

Beeker, the Swedish Chef and Animal, catch Carmen in a slightly neurotic, endearingly desperate state of mind.

Rufus Wainwright borrows the distinctive bass line in his 2003 song "Vibrate" from his album "Want One"

Bobby McFerrin & Aziz Mustafa Zadeh dim the lights and make it one for the ladies. Bonus awkward hug or no hug moment at the end.

Pop Quiz: Only three operas have been performed more times at the Met than "Carmen." Can you name them? Advanced players can go for the Top 10. If you're stumped, we'll have the answer in the comments section below soon.


Opera film review: 'Carmen in 3D'

Give classical music a hand. Or don't?

-- Marcia Adair