Saturday, September 23, 2006

Oz Opera's Carmen

On a whim, I decided to go and see Oz Opera's offering of Carmen by Bizet. It was, perhaps unfortunately, sung in English with no subtitles. I don't know what it is but I simply can't understand English opera (i.e. cannot parse it, not that I can't follow the story) because of the so totally out of the ordinary way of the language presentation.

I was lucky I vaguely knew the story of Carmen - otherwise I would have been at a total loss.

Tickets were sold out and I was lucky enough to buy a ticket from a lady whose daughter couldn't attend. I actually got a real BOX OFFICE seat. I couldn't believe it...good seat and the two ladies in the box office with me were absolute dears - in fact I became "surrogate son".

What surprised me the most about this production is that neither Carmen nor Don Jose were - to my mind - particularly attractive but they still played their roles credibly and very well. Though my idea of a male lover is a tall, dark haired and athletic young man (we can all dream), this Don Jose wasn't particularly tall and was rather, umm, rotund.

Grudgingly, though, he was quite attractive. He had boyish looks and played his part earnestly...

As for Carmen. They differentiated her perfectly. I'm not a good judge of female form but she seemed passably beautiful but moreso carried an air of beauty that can't really be described in words. The way the actress portrayed her character on stage was as though: "I am beautiful and different..." compensating for any, possibly illusionary, lack of beauty.

Both their singing skills compensated whatever lacked in their physical look.

In short, I liked this production of Carmen. It's actually the first real live one I saw. It reminded me of something that I've been missing out on - live theatre, musicals and art and that even if I go by myself, if I try (or in this case not try), I'll find someone to share the experience with.

Anyway, these be my thoughts!