“…The world of music would be incomplete without ‘Carmen’, and Bizet would have needed only to write this opera to become Bizet,” says the famous Italian musicologist G. Marchesi. For 130 years now, Carmen has been leading the world “opera box office revenue” in terms of the number of productions, recordings, and concert performances; and Bizet’s music is so firmly rooted in the cultural continuum that it seems to have always existed.
About the new version of Carmen, we can say that the main idea of the production is a synthesis of drama, opera, and ballet. The unique idea of Yuri Bashmet and director Pavel Safonov was first shown to audiences at the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi in 2015.
The play “Fantastic Carmen” is about how our selfishness turns love into passion, into a sense of ownership, and the awareness of irretrievable loss returns this feeling to purity and infinite tenderness. In our version, director Jose, filming the actress Carmencita, jealous, kills Her, and in a state of shock he experiences all the consequences already in the asylum for the mentally ill, where the mystical Doctor guides him from unconsciousness to the realization of this bloody crime. The opera arias and ballet parts of the works of the same name are like dreams of his inflamed and morbid consciousness, in them he sees as in a mirror the improbability and madness of his desires. And as he goes back this way, he falls in love again and again with Carmen as Destiny, with the unattainability of the Dream, as something that is impossible to achieve and hold on to, but also meaningless to live without it. After waking up, Jose recovers, but the tears in his eyes indicate that he would be willing to walk that shaky path, to his Carmen, one more time.