January 11, 2019

In 1983, stage director Peter Brook, in collaboration with writer Jean-Claude Carrière and composer Marius Constant, stunned the opera world by presenting, in an arena-like theater in Paris, a revision of Bizet’s Carmen that ran just ninety minutes. Its title, La Tragédie de Carmen, said it all. Brook eliminated many characters — and all choruses of soldiers, children and factory workers — in order to concentrate the action on the four main characters. All the major arias were maintained and dramatically rearranged for a chamber orchestra. The opera opened the year after in New York City and has been revived many times since then all over the operatic world.” [OperaNews]


It has come, the new year, in the middle of the theatre season. As they tend to do, the years. January is a month of preparation this year. La tragédi de Carmen, a reimagining of Bizet’s Carmen by director Peter Brook and composer Marius Constant, will be my fifth production of Carmen, the fourth version of the opera and in the third language (but yet the fifth text version).

I have long wanted to sing this particular version of Carmen. Its concentration, and restructure of the text and music, does something remarkable with the original libretto and somehow brings it closer to Mérimée‘s original.

I am truly looking forward to this, which I think will be an intense, challenging but artistically rewarding production, and am grateful for getting this possibility at Wermland Opera where I’ll be working for the first time. Michaela will be sung by Sabina Bisholt, with whom I sang Faust last season. It will be fun! And an honour; a relative of mine was a soloist in the house almost her entire career.

But packing for the fourth months will need some thinking.