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Carmen

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Overview

Georges Bizet's 1875 opera about Carmen, the colorful cigarette factory worker whose flirtations with the soldier Don José are forgotten in her love for the matador Escamillo, is the source for director Francesco Rosi's cinematic version of the same story. Plácido Domingo sings the part of Don José, Julia Migenes-Johnson sings Carmen, and Ruggero Raimondi is Escamillo. Although there is nothing to fault in the singing itself, some viewers may feel that director Rosi has stayed closer to a stage production than ...
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Overview

Georges Bizet's 1875 opera about Carmen, the colorful cigarette factory worker whose flirtations with the soldier Don José are forgotten in her love for the matador Escamillo, is the source for director Francesco Rosi's cinematic version of the same story. Plácido Domingo sings the part of Don José, Julia Migenes-Johnson sings Carmen, and Ruggero Raimondi is Escamillo. Although there is nothing to fault in the singing itself, some viewers may feel that director Rosi has stayed closer to a stage production than the medium of film would warrant. Carmen received the 1984 Cesar award for "Best Sound."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Adapting an opera for film is a daunting task. On the one hand, the performers must act their parts convincingly while matching their prerecorded voices to their lip movements. On the other, technicians must continually tweak their sound equipment during outdoor scenes to maintain studio-quality reproduction under constantly changing temperatures and wind conditions. In this heralded 1984 film production of Carmen, the cast and sound crew work in nearly perfect synergy on-location in Spain to create a landmark film that set high standards for future opera films. Love gone wrong -- deceitful, fatal love -- is, of course, the central theme of this Georges Bizet masterpiece, one of the most popular and most frequently performed operas of all time. In an innovation establishing this theme, director Francesco Rosi opens the production in an arena in which a roaming bull bleeds under the assault of banderilleros and picadors -- after a matador promised everything with the wave of a scarlet cloak but yielded nothing. American soprano Julia Migenes-Johnson is magnificent as Carmen. Her sultry movements and her peasant defiance communicate nearly as effectively as her soprano voice, which she spent months manipulating to develop the mezzo quality demanded by her role. Placido Domingo, opera's undisputed king of repertoire who has performed the role of Don José hundreds of times on-stage and in audio recordings, demonstrates why critics view him as one of the better tenors of recent decades. Although his acting is pedestrian and his then middle-age physique lacks dash, his voice has decibels to spare. He gets the job done. The cinematography, the period costumes, and the instrumental support of the Orchestre National de France under Lorin Maazel are all excellent.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/30/2011
  • UPC: 887090030106
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:35:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 15,543

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julia Migenes Carmen
Plácido Domingo Don Jose
Ruggero Raimondi Escamillo
Faith Esham Micaela
Jean-Philippe Lafont Dancairo
Gerard Garino Remendado
Lilian Watson Frasquita
Jean Paul Bogart Zuniga
Julien Guiomar Lillas Pastia
Maria Campano Manuelita
Accursio di Leo Guide
Aurora Vargas Carmen's Friend
François Le Roux Morales
Santiago Lopez Escamillo's Double
Susan Daniel Mercedes
Lorin Maazel Conductor
Technical Credits
Francesco Rosi Director, Screenwriter
Pasqualino De Santis Cinematographer
Antonio Gades Choreography
Gianni Giovagnoni Set Decoration/Design
Tonino Guerra Screenwriter
Enrico Job Art Director, Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Patrice Ledoux Producer
Guy Level Sound/Sound Designer
Lorin Maazel Musical Direction/Supervision
Ruggero Mastroianni Editor
Alessandro von Normann Production Manager
Pierre-Louis Thevenet Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An unforgettable Carmen

    Since first seeing this production on PBS, I have loved it. Now I realise that I must have my own copy and have just ordered it from B & N. I recently paid $164 for 2 seats to Carmen at our local opera house and was shocked to see that Carmen was played by a lady who weighed in at about 300lbs! Her beautiful voice was not enough to compensate for the embarrassing sight of her rolling around the stage, trying to portray the sensual, seductive and alluring gypsy! After all, opera is an audio and a VISUAL experience. I left the opera house feeling very disappointed. The cure for my blues? To go straight home and watch this gorgeous production of Carmen on my own large screen TV and wonder why I didn't spend the $164 on 6 copies of the DVD and give them out to some of the friends I have been urging to see this at all costs! Julia M-G and Placido D are superb, as is the choreography by one of my favourite dancers, Antonio Gades.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews