Monday, February 13, 2017

Love, soldiers, gypsies and free tickets to 'Carmen'

  
Associate choreographer Sarah O'Gleby at rehearsal for "Carmen" (photo by Andrew Cioffi) 


     "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle . . ."
     "Love is a rebellious bird," Carmen sings, during her famous entrance in the beloved opera, "Carmen," which opened at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Saturday.
     Just in time for Valentine's Day.
     What does "love is a rebellious bird" even mean? Later she explains: Love; you wait for it, it never comes. But stop waiting, there it is. Think you've caught it? It's gone.
     Sounds about right.
     This is the ninth year the Sun-Times and the Lyric have joined forces to bring 100 lucky readers to "A Night at the Opera," and this is perhaps the most exciting yet because, well, it's "Carmen." Spain. Handsome soldiers. Saucy gypsies. Men fighting with knives. Women fighting with knives.
     And the music. The soul of Spain distilled as only a Frenchman, Georges Bizet, could do it.
    We're going Feb. 28, and there's a party beforehand. Details about how to enter to win one of 50 pairs of free tickets are online. You can enter every day, and if I were you, I would.

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10 comments:

  1. Lovely costumes and nice descriptions of the ladies dance.

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  2. I've always loved Carmen despite the goofy story line, of which Andy Griffith gives an hilarious hillbilly version without altering the script at all. There's also a Spanish movie that takes a serious and modern (1983) look at the infatuation, jealousy and murder.

    Wish I could be there on the 28th, but have arrived at an age at which I would probably go to sleep before Carmen leaves the tobacco factory.

    john

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  3. It's a good show. Colorful staging. Musically fine. Well acted. The dancing was splendid, but, to my mind, distracting in the final scene, when the two erstwhile lovers should be the center of attention and don't need to be upstaged by a pair of chorus boys prancing about on a corner of the stage. I would think the singers would be pissed. It brought to mind an incident famous in operatic lore that occurred -- although pre-Lyric Opera -- on that same stage, when the Don Jose, who had been feuding with the conductor, departed prematurely in a very operatic huff, leaving his Carmen to stab herself. I believe he never worked again.

    Tom Evans

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    1. Thanks. Re my criticism, I've seen quite a few Carmen's, which probably makes me picky. As I said, it's a good show. Everybody should go.

      TE

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    2. That Don was performed by David Poleri in 1953. Apparently the conductor was way under tempo, and Poleri stormed off telling the conductor to sing it himself. Poleri did continue with his career and performed in Chicago a few years later. He was killed In 1968 when the helicopter he was in w his wife crashed into a volcano.

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    3. I believe Alagna also did a bunk a few years back after singing "Celeste Aida," the difficult opening area of "Aida" and hearing a few boos. At La Scala of all places. I believe they have since kissed and made up.

      Tenors!

      TE

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  4. So, I assume the codes are not going to be be in the online version of the SunTimes?

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    Replies
    1. C'mon. A buck a day. Even McDonald's coffee costs more.

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    2. Don't be so cheap, Susan D. And if you subscribe it's even less than a buck a day.

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