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Mark Mandel
Opera News, April 2012

BIZET, G.: Carmen (Liceu, 2010) (NTSC) 707308
BIZET, G.: Carmen (Liceu, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) 707404

…in this 2010 Barcelona performance, the most excitingly directed Carmen I’ve seen. Energy is one of its characteristics—energy from the stage animals in the four main roles and energy from the Liceu choristers…It’s a triumph of theater and people over pageantry. Focus is another hallmark of this show, for Bieito strips Carmen of its usual settings and distracting clichés…and stages the entire drama in a circle of light…

Acting Carmen, Uria-Monzon…is in strong voice from the seguidilla on. Roberto Alagna as José is in great voice throughout. He is lyrical in the duet with Micaela and in the flower song…passionate and focused in the finales of the last two acts. 

Marina Poplavskaya…is one tough cookie, with unprecedented strength of character. Erwin Schrott’s suave, self-effacing Escamillo…varies tone color…The Liceu chorus is terrific. 

Paris-born Marc Piollet conducts vividly, without one slow or overly fast tempo…an ideal Carmen for those who have seen many. © 2012 Opera News Read complete review

Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, March 2012

Musically, the production is excellent. Béatrice Uria-Monzon is a smart…Roberto Alagna is in excellent voice, too, offering honeyed tones that never disguise his passion or his potential for violence…Erwin Schrott is an impressively self-confident Escamillo…The other roles are well handled—and Marc Piollet and the orchestra provide a high-contrast palette, with plenty of detail and vitality. Sound is first-rate, as is clarity of the picture; and the patient and luxurious camerawork avoids the hyperactivity that mars so many opera videos these days. All in all, then, a very good Carmen… © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, February 2012

this is a Carmen with a superstar cast in a production from one of the world’s leading opera houses. Make no mistake about it then, this is a major event, not least because the singing and dramatic skills of the cast are stellar in every sense. But some viewers will find the updated treatment of the opera aggressively modern, both in its barren sets and costuming…the performances by the cast are excellent. Uria-Monzon is a superb Carmen: try her thrilling and sexy Habanera, or her dark and intense En vain, pour éviterles réponses ameres, from Act 3. Alagna…is also splendid. His La fleur tu m’avais jetée, from Act 2, is beautifully sung, as are his other arias and duets. Marina Poplavskaya is a splendid Micaela: try, as just one example, her powerfully moving Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante, from Act 3. Erwin Schrott is also excellent as Escamillo, and the rest of the cast shows no weaknesses anywhere.

The video quality and camera work are…excellent and the sound reproduction vivid and powerful. Recommended. © 2012 Classical Net Read complete review

Lawrence Devoe, December 2011

this newest BD version has some interesting concepts… © 2011 Read complete review

Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, December 2011

This is a superb Carmen…It is beautifully filmed and very well recorded in surround with proper perspectives.

Carmen is about unbridled passion, lust, revenge and murder, all set against a backdrop of the poor under-classes of society. Calixto Bieito, the director in Barcelona, has recaptured the shock of this music and has gained the support of a mostly brilliant cast and one super-star performer, Béatrice Uria-Monzon, who will leave you speechless with admiration as she leads this excellent cast….buy this, you will not regret it. © 2011 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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