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Bizet: Carmen / Vesselinak Kasarova, Jonas Kaufmann, Isabel Rey, Michele Pertusi. Franz Welser-Most, Philharmonia Zurich [DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

In 2008 the Opernhaus Zurich staged this magnificent production starring virtuoso tenor Jonas Kaufmann as Don José and the Bulgarian Vesselina Kasarova as the flirtatious prima-donna of the title role. Mezzo-soprano Kasarova is dazzling as the tough-as-nails, beautifully unsentimental heroine - think classic Sophia Loren meets West Side Story. Kaufmann, in the guise of a Spanish police officer, brilliantly portrays the blustering but naive Don José as a modern contrast of hard-edged machismo and out-of-his-depths vulnerability. Director Matthias Hartmann refreshed one of the greatest and most popular operas of all time with touches of a contemporary setting and costume designs that emphasize the timeless archetypes of the characters. This production of Carmen enthralled audiences with the visceral physical quality of the performances, enhanced by a single panoramic set for all four acts that is stripped of the traditional Spanish styling. Kaufmann superbly presents Don José as awkward, socially inept and doomed for disillusionment. Kasarova's Carmen commands attention with a soft and sensual exterior that hides her ruthless and sinister heart in plain view. Franz-Welser-Möst conducted Bizet's score with chiseled detail in his final assignment as Zurich's Generalmusikdirektor before moving to the Vienna State Opera as Chief Conductor.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 165 min.
Region: 0
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): PCM Stereo,


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Works Details

>Bizet, Georges : Carmen, opera
  • Performers: Vesselina Kasarova; Jonas Kaufmann; Isabel Rey; Michele Pertusi; Morgan Moody; Kresimir Strazanac; Sen Guo; Judith Schmid; Gabriel Bermudez; Javier Camarena
  • Conductor: Franz Welser-Most
  • Ensemble: Zurich Opera Orchestra
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1875
  • Studio/Live: Live