Dancing to Bizet's 'L'Arlésienne' and 'Carmen',
by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
I do not generally review ballet performances, but this Roland Petit show on Bizet's music is really a special combination of music and vision as it marries top-class music (the suites from L'Arlésienne and from Carmen) with superb dancing and excellent stage sets based on Van Gogh (L'Arlésienne) and Picasso (Carmen). The carefully crafted sets place both dramatic actions under a bright Mediterranean sun (albeit with different shading).
It is not a brand new production but a joint venture of the three major Opera Houses -- La Scala where the double bill was presented in 2008 (and most likely, it will return in 2012 because it was acclaimed by the audience), the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome (until 2 January 2011) and the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari (until 10 January 2011). Also, the original conceptions of two ballets date many years back: Carmen was unveiled in Paris in 1949 and L'Arlésienne in Marseille in 1974. They have travelled all over the world -- often, however, without conductors and orchestras up to the level of Bizet's score, and occasionally -- oh dear!..
Copyright © 12 January 2011