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Colourful and Large Scale

Francesco Zamballo's production of 'Carmen',
reviewed by ROBERT HUGILL


Francesca Zamballo's production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London UK (seen Wednesday 16 June 2010), is colourful and large scale, designed for frequent revivals and full of crowd-pleasing detail. The cast includes a horse and a donkey (I missed the chickens, though they were credited in the programme) as well as a remarkable number of children, whose musical contributions were enthusiastic though their French was poor. Tanya McCallin's set allowed plenty of space for the set pieces and the large chorus, who provided all sorts of incidental character detail.

The problem with such a production, especially in revival when the original director is not there with a firm hand, is that the stage picture can become more about the background details than the protagonists. (The revival director was Duncan Macfarland.) Act 1 opened in a busy market square, full of lively incident and rather over developed character, the full impact of the production was thus going to depend on how the principals imposed themselves on this production...

Copyright © 17 June 2010 Robert Hugill,
London UK








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