Opera Review: Carmen by the Welsh National Opera at the Mayflower Southampton
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The Welsh National Opera come to the Mayflower Theatre twice a year with a programme of performances in both the Winter and the Spring. This Winter they brought to the Southampton venue three Operas as part of their themed season, ‘Liberty or Death!’: Bizet’s Carmen, Rossini’s William Tell and Moses in Egypt. This review covers the first performance in the season, Carmen, and with it being my first experience of the Opera, I had a night to remember. The first performance of Carmen was in Paris in the late 1800s (3rd March 1875 to be precise), and with strong themes of female liberty and sexuality, this Opera was way ahead of its time and this is all the more reason for it is still being performed over 100 years later. For those unfamiliar with the story, Carmen follows the story of a gypsy of the same name. She is arrested and then released by enticing the soldier who is guarding her, Don José, who then spends time in prison during which she attracts the attention of bullfighter, Escamillo. The rest is a fraught battle for Carmen’s love.
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