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Carmen shoots Don Jose in Florence Opera House's new version of the opera

(25 Posts)
giulia Fri 19-Jan-18 05:08:25

There is an uproar in Italy because the director Leo Muscato has changed the opera, setting it in a modern gypsy camp and having Carmen not die but shooting Don Jose. This is supposed to be a politically correct update protesting against feminicide. (There has been an increase in Italy of murders of women.) I personally feel this is an incorrect use of any art form but many feminists applauded the change, including some important female politicians.

To me, this paves the way for other ridiculous distortions of art: Tosca jumping off the castle with a parachute; Botticelli's Venus's legs painted over with leggings - are just two hyperthetical possibilities.

Some argue that by "modernising" Carmen, the opera will have greater appeal to the younger generation. ME THINKS NOT! What about you?

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 06:09:25

Stupid, stupid, stupid , it is being done in this country too, there was a feminist interviewed in the news recently praising this madness .

suzied Fri 19-Jan-18 07:19:13

Opera is not the same as a museum piece, people usually go to listen to the music, or a particular singer, not necessarily to see the acting out of a story ( which you usually know anyway) I am assuming the director kept the music the same? The production of various operas does change, and personally changing the dramatisation would not stop me going to see a particular production. I have seen operas set in vastly different settings from the original, and enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to seeing Carmen at Covent Garden next month, I’ve seen it before and love the music, so I’m interested to see what this production is like. I saw Rigoletto recently and was rather surprised by all the nudity, which I dare say wasn’t in the original production, but really enjoyed the performances, ( the Duke still didn’t get his comeuppance though, which would have been a feminist ending!)

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 09:06:20

Rigoletto was in the list of the feminist I heard interviewed.

The music will be the same but no pathos would make it hollow. Madam Butterfly ? Cross out 'One Fine Day' because she would have dumped him.

Take it to our literature , Jane Eyre would have Rochester in court. Heathcliffe in a mental hospital

lemongrove Fri 19-Jan-18 09:20:16

grin Annie
Seems that we change anything we don’t like now?

I don’t think poor disavantaged Gollum should have fallen to his death in the flames chasing the ring! Yes, he was a murderer and gone crazy but it was the ring that did it, he should have been reabilitated and taken to live in The Shire.

lemongrove Fri 19-Jan-18 09:23:26

I can see that maybe for one performance ( as a gesture) to get the issue into the media, this may be a good idea for the opera, but not making the new ending the permanent one.

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 09:26:06

Lemon, Psycho, the stabbing in the shower, she would have clouted him with a bar of soap , rung the police, got on the internet and proclaimed 'me too' 😀

lemongrove Fri 19-Jan-18 09:40:33

Opens a can of worms doesn’t it? grin

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 10:01:30

What is written is written, if you don't like it don't listen or read it, simple really. I love Carmen , leave it alone

suzied Fri 19-Jan-18 10:29:01

They didn’t change the music just the dramatisation. Opera is about the music not the story, unlike films, plays etc You always get different productions which sometimes raise eyebrows. I’m sure most modern productions change some element of the story as in the historical settings , No one is saying this is a permanent change, another director will no doubt change another aspect of the setting.

suzied Fri 19-Jan-18 10:31:28

A few years ago I saw a dance production of Carmen at Saddlers Wells which was called Car Man it was set in a car wash. It was brilliant, they used all of Bizet’s music and turned it into a ballet.

Grandma70s Fri 19-Jan-18 11:13:09

Opera is a complete art form and the drama/story is JUST as important as the music. After all, it’s what triggers the music.

There are lots of silly productions of operas. You’re lucky if if Carmen isn’t set on a spaceship. Changing the libretto, though, is wholly different and an insult to the composer and librettist.

Nonnie Fri 19-Jan-18 11:45:46

It has served its purpose, people are talking about it!

suzied I really hated that! AMP have been living off their Swan Lake, which was brilliant, for years and IMO (no H, don't feel humble about this!) have put on some dreadful stuff. No everyone agrees, Director got knighted, presumably for his press coverage rather than achievements!

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 12:29:41

I so agree Grandma70.

What next? La Traviata because it is about a woman of low morals exploited by men

hildajenniJ Fri 19-Jan-18 12:33:24

NO, absolutely not! You can't mess about with Carmen.

Politics shouldn't be allowed to infiltrate the Opera. Keep Politics and the Arts separate.

Fennel Fri 19-Jan-18 12:57:58

Although I love music opera has never appealed to me, apart from Carmen Jones which we saw in London a few years ago.
That ending could have fitted in better there.
Would you opera lovers object to that version of Carmen?
ie set in an African - American community.

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 13:01:46

The music and the story cannot be seperated surely

M0nica Fri 19-Jan-18 14:01:40

Took DD to see Carmen when she was about 13. Asked afterwards how she had enjoyed it, her response was 'Stupid woman, served her right'

Anniebach Fri 19-Jan-18 14:23:56

I like that MOnica

M0nica Fri 19-Jan-18 16:51:11

As DH is an amateur proper opera singer and director. I have seen an awful lot of opera, professional and amateur, in my life, including many set in the most unexpected locations.

I have seen quite a number set in different ethnic communities and that does pull out very subtle differences and is very interesting but as with classical books serialised on television, if you want to change the plot, write your own opera/script and leave the original alone.

As far as Carmen is concerned, if I never see it again it will not be too long. My own opinion of it is not that different from DD's. The 'hero' is wet and the 'heroine' is self obsessed. they both get what they deserve.

Anyway the success of an opera is measured by the number of dead bodies on the stage at the end.

Cherrytree59 Fri 19-Jan-18 18:37:29

I maybe dumbing down.....
but Annie you made laugh out loud grin

M0nica Fri 19-Jan-18 20:44:45

It is not dumbing down Cherrytree Most operatic plots are absurd, you go to hear the music.

M0nica Fri 19-Jan-18 20:46:46

Anniebach I have only just seen your post about loving the opera. I withdraw all my rude comments about it.

Grandma70s Fri 19-Jan-18 20:58:01

You’ll have to pick your operas better. Some have very interesting librettos/plots, frequently based on works of literature. The music adds another dimension. I feel quite strongly about this. You can’t separate them, as Anniebach said earlier, or you’re only experiencing part of the opera.

What’s absurd about La Traviata, or Billy Budd? I’m reserving judgement on Wagner.

M0nica Fri 19-Jan-18 21:14:04

The plots of Il Trovatore and The Masked Ball always strike me as pretty daft.

Personally my favourites are La Traviata, Cenerentola, Eugene Onegin and Tales of Hoffman.