Bizet's Carmen from Los Angeles Opera

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Carmen (Patricia Bardon) is visited by Don Jose (Brandon Jovanovich, in background), who has been under arrest for helping her escape. Carmen (Patricia Bardon) is visited by Don Jose (Brandon Jovanovich, in background), who has been under arrest for helping her escape. (Robert Millard/LA Opera)

Saturday at 1 pm, Bizet's riveting drama of love and jealousy, filled with famously alluring melodies and captivating dances, is heard in a performance by Los Angeles Opera. Irish mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon plays the title role and American tenor Brandon Jovanovich is Don José. Plácido Domingo conducts.

When LA Opera revived this production from Teatro Real in Madrid it advised patrons: "parental discretion advised." Tune in and perhaps find out why.

Carmen           Patricia Bardon
Don José         Brandon Jovanovich
Micaëla            Pretty Yende
Escamillo         Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
Zuniga            Valentin Anikin
Moralès           Daniel Armstrong
Frasquita         Hae Ji Chang
Mercédès         Cassandra Zoé Velasco
El Remendado  Keith Jameson
El Dancaïre      Museop Kim
A Vendor         Melissa Treinkman
A Gypsy          Abdiel Gonzalez
A Soldier         Steven Pence

CONDUCTOR:  Plácido Domingo
CHORUS:   LA Opera Chorus
CHORUS MASTER:  Grant Gershon

Comments [17]

But ... but ... I *was* playing nice! I was (mostly) on topic and I was (definitely) brief. DD~~

Jul. 23 2014 08:17 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Now, play nice children. This is coming from the Queen of the Kerfuffelians.

Jul. 21 2014 02:17 PM

Dear Mr. Wagner (sorry, Lane), my brief, civil post of July 20 was essentially in response to WQXR's guidelines: "Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief."

A rambling post that is one-third Carmen and two-thirds Wagner/Lane does not seem to meet those guidelines. DD~~

Jul. 20 2014 06:56 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

WOW, did I make a typo ! I meant RICHARD WAGNER MUSIC DRAMA INSTITUTE, where I teach vocal production and all the roles of Wagner's music dramas and all the acting roles of Shakespeare's plays. Instead, discussing the mud throwing of a real DUCKY, I listed my location as Richard Wagner Mudsic Institute, Boonton, NJ [SIC !!!].

Jul. 20 2014 04:03 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Mudsic Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Gee, how DUCKY it must be for someone not proving any talent, to criticize everyone and everything, yet hide cowardly behind a nom de plume, an aka, to avoid the consternation of others more competent to make judgments or, at very least, to do the things this cowardly unfortunate cranky soul who makes these rude and/or angry comments, could never successfully venture.

Jul. 20 2014 03:50 PM
eduardo rodriguez from Houston, Texas

I was present at the performance. I was tuning the radio. It was a perfect show all conducted by the talented Placido Domingo. The beautiful score by George Bizet was something. I am going to get the digital recording because I believe that that performance was fantastic and is going to be in a special chapter of the musical history. This is a great example of the good things than mankind is doing for all of us.

Jul. 20 2014 02:20 PM

@KBL, wow! One-third CARMEN and two-thirds KBL. Why am I not SURPRISED?!?


Jul. 20 2014 12:50 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, LaKE Hiawatha,l NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

The original DON JOSE was a high baritone so Bizet wrote the FLOWER SONG with a pp high B flat. FRANCO CORELLI sang it with a mezza di voce or pp in his performances and was a smashing success. I am glad to read comments about GIGLI. GIGLI telephoned me from Recanati, Italy that he had heard that I was given the option of 2PM or 5:30 PM for my SOLO TEN LANGUAGE CONCERT DEBUT in the main hall, now called the ISAAC STERN AUDITORIUM, of CARNEGIE HALL. He told me that he would like to have the 2 PM time for his own farewell concert, saying "I am an old man now [he was 65 years old]. I told him that he was one of the three tenors I admired the most, CARUSO, MELCHIOR and, of course, GIGLI. I granted his wish and during his concert I sat behind a screen at stage right. My own concert followed. It was three hours long. Much of it can be heard, undoctored, LIVE on my TEN LANGUAGE SOLO DEBUT CD, downloadable free at my website Gigli's daughter, GLORIA GIGLI, met me at the BIRGIT NILLSON Master Class at Manhattan School of Music, which was the original site of the juilliard School of Music and told me of how much she and her dad enjoyed my singing. PLACIDO DOMINGO conducted with the spirit and enthusiasm wrapped up in his acquaintance with the Don Jose role and with the aura of its locale and story line. The men, BRANDON JOVANOVICH as Don Jose and ILDEBRANDO D'ARCANGELO as Escamillo have beautiful vocal timbres and are well cast, despite quibbling over the choice of a falsetto on the Flower Song's b flat. PATRICIA BARDON
as Carmen and PRETTY YENDE as Micaela contributed to a well rounded performance. The orchestra responded with a passion to MAESTRO DOMINGO and the chorus splendidly held up their end of the performance uder the direction of GRANT GERSHON. BRAVO LOS ANGELES OPERA CO !!!

Jul. 19 2014 07:23 PM
Steven Peters from 33852

Is today's broadcast of Bezet's Carmen from the Los Angeles Opera being performed by real, trained OPERA singers. Carmen was my first opera more than sixty years ago at the MET and NYC Opera,too I studied voice but recognized my limitations. It would greatly benefit Bizet were these performers accept the same reality.

Tenor went falsetto? Carmen, unable to bring the fire, the temper the flare that character demands.

I'm now a happy retiree. Left theater and achieved goals in the corporate world. CEO,Corporate Administrative Consultant. Please, listen to Anna Russel who said to be an opera singer you need the voice PERIOD. Better, listen to Leontyne Price's recording of CARMEN and learn. Learn how Carmen must be performed, the tempo of orchestra and IMHO those VOICES. No faking it or cheating or falsetto.

Jul. 19 2014 03:11 PM

What a disappointing "Flower Song"! No diminueno, and taking the High Bb piano on "toi" -why. That's a tenor's money note. I don't think this role is for him.
Only my opinion - don'y want tocause a contre temps here.

Jul. 19 2014 02:46 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Hello CBC: Glad to hear from you and thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have Gigli's recording of this as well as the baritone/tenor duet with Bjoerling and Merrill. Probably the most beautiful baritone/tenor duet around. I am a little tired of Carmen and would love to hear Pearl Fishers more often. Today's Carmen's voice sounds a little thin to me but I could be mistaken. She is beautiful and that helps.
She's so sexy when she walks, when she talks, yada yada yada.
Now in the film Carmen Jones, Pearl Bailey sings Bang out that rhythm on the drums. I rather enjoy that film. It sounds like Harry Belafonte did his own singing in that one. I thought it was an honest effort and I bet it might have inspired some folks to like opera. Dorothy Dandridge was so beautiful and what a sad story. Stay well, tante belle cose anche a te.

Jul. 19 2014 02:25 PM

CBC So glad to see you are back. You remind me as Carmen - firery & true to your convictions. I wish we had a tenor who could sing "Mi par d'udire ancor" from the Pearl Fishers. I have Gigli's version - it is so etherial & those high C's floated. Alas, one can hope. State buon. Tutti cose belle a te e tua familia.

Jul. 19 2014 02:07 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

My mistake. I meant to write Act Two rather than Act Three.

Jul. 19 2014 07:08 AM

Ah, yes. The age-old question.

"Never mind about how raunchy the production is, Patricia Bardon has a spectacular, creamy mezzo voice."

Is it about the theater experience, the vocal experience, or both? DD~~

Jul. 18 2014 08:44 PM
George from 40th ST

Never mind about how raunchy the production is,Patricia Bardon has a spectacular, creamy mezzo voice. Looking forward to hearing her!!!!

Jul. 18 2014 03:26 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

I rented the dvd of Carmen with Jonas Kaufmann and was surprised at such a dirty looking Carmen. Hard to imagine that he would become so obsessed with such a slut. The Carmen in this production did not even change her clothing for Act 3 where she is supposed to be waiting for him to get out of prison.

Jul. 18 2014 09:29 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

If the pre-broadcast suggestion is that the production is too raunchy be advised that the impresarios today are more concerned with getting the lowest common denominator interested for commercial reasons than presenting the works in the context of the composers and lyricists.

Jul. 12 2014 01:19 AM

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