Despite the cancellation of its March performances, the Polish National Opera continues to entertain its audiences via its VOD service - safely and for free! #stayhome and let opera and ballet in!
Due to public demand, however, the Polish National Opera will stream the production online. Carmen will be broadcast on Saturday, 28 March, Tuesday, 31 March and Thursday, 2 April for free on vod.teatrwielki.pl, starting at 7 p.m. each night.
Carmen is one of the most frequently staged operas worldwide. The innovative verismo opera has been dazzling audiences with its vigour, Spanish character and resplendence for years. The story of a Gypsy temptress is not – as commonly thought – a paean to life with an iconic overture and habanera.
In their take on the classic, director Andrzej Chyra and dramaturge Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk explore the anatomy of crime as well as a clash of two equal yet opposing value systems – strict military discipline and perfect freedom – which underlies the love story. And so, this is not a tale of bawdy sexuality and raging jealousy, but an account of true love that prompts a crime. The production premiered at the Teatr Wielki, Warsaw on 7 June 2018.
Cast: Rinat Shaham – Carmen, Ewa Tracz – Micaela, Joanna Kędzior – Frasquita, Anna Bernacka – Mercedes, Leonardo Capalbo – Don Jose, Mariusz Godlewski – Escamillo, Krzysztof Bączyk – Zuniga, Kamil Zdebel – Morales, Andres, Damian Wilma – Le Dancaire, Tomasz Madej – Remendado, Maciej Mikołajczyk – Lilas Pastia.
Keri-Lynn Wilson conducted the soloists, orchestra and chorus of the Polish National Opera, and the Artos boys choir.
Vod.teatrwielki.pl offers a rich programme of acclaimed opera and ballet productions for music lovers to choose from, including David Pountney’s production of The Haunted Manor and Agnieszka Glińska’s staging of Halka (Vilnius version). Grab the best seats in the house at the best price possible – for free!
The production owes its undeniable success mainly to its musical side, in particular the performances delivered by the two lead singers. Carmen is sung by Israel’s Rinat Shaham, a recognised interpreter of the role, who possesses a great sounding mezzo-soprano voice of expressive plasticity and can use it well to portray her character. That’s very valuable and rare among opera singers.
Krzysztof Teodorowicz, www.teatralny.pl
Chyra’s take on „Carmen” deviates from the traditional interpretation based on an analysis of human desire and the complexities of male-female relationships. The creative team have elevated the piece to the next level, unearthing stories of people holding on to fantasies of an ideal life and clashing with the reality on different levels.
Agnieszka Supińska, www.e-teatr.pl
Chyra successfully devised the group scenes featuring the Chorus of the Polish National Opera and the Artos Boys Choir - the theatre comes alive, the stage vibrates with details as each of the characters has their own motivations and role to play.
Anna Dębowska, www.wyborcza.pl
Italian-American tenor Leonardo Capalbo was intriguing as Don Jose with his compellingly metallic voice, and delivered a beautiful rendition of The Flower Song, among others.
Józef Kański, Ruch Muzyczny
Pictured: Rinat Shaham as Carmen. Photo by Krzysztof Bieliński