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Thread: Greatest Carmen ever

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    Default Greatest Carmen ever

    Julia Migenes is the definitive Carmen. Nobody has ever portrayed Carmen with the raw sex appeal and hypnotic magic of Migenes. Her captivation of Placido Domingo was spellbinding.

    Carmen

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    Alnitak
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    I don’t like movies very much, even if the singers are pretty good. As for me, an opera is made to be sung on a stage. Do you know if there exists such a version of this opera, I mean : a filmed live performance ?
    Last edited by Alnitak; Jul-23-2007 at 20:41.

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    Senior Member Morigan's Avatar
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    Of course there is!

    As for opera movies, I think they're great but only if they're well done. Never buy the damn DG Carmen DVD. Bad pronunciation, bad lipsynching, horrible 60s hair and costumes (Frasquita and Mercedes in polka dots, wtf?).

    However, most opera movies directed by Jean-Pierre Ponelle are simply wonderful and incredibly well done. The Così one is flawless in every regard.

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    Any recommendations for the best Carmen on CD?

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    Quote Originally Posted by albertfallickwang View Post
    Any recommendations for the best Carmen on CD?
    Predictably I suppose, I still hold firm to the Callas recording (discredited Guiraud recitatives and all). My detailed reasons for doing so are in my review in the Callas Remastered thread (post #319)

    The link should take you to the correct page.

    http://www.talkclassical.com/33051-n...as-box-22.html
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Dec-01-2014 at 13:30.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    These are my favorites:


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    The Migenes, Domingo is a wonderful watching spectacle as a movie .
    Little details makes it very convincing.
    ( Armpits from Migenes with hair not being shaved. Not my fantasies but I think thats the way it use to be)
    For a stage performance I go for : Obraztsova / Domingo / Kleiber.
    Another good stage performance is the Baltsa / Carreras .

    The disc I play the most is the for me very sensual Carmen of Troyanos .

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    Elena Obraztsova






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    I really found one that I really liked... Carmen featuring Elina Garanca



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    Rather like the MILF Carmen from the ROH.


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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertfallickwang View Post
    Any recommendations for the best Carmen on CD?
    I must confess the Abbado seems somewhat soulless but I'll have to listen again.

    Karajan / VPO is tremendously exciting if you view Carmen as verismo. I know Corelli's French does not even approximate to anything a Frenchman would recognize but the whole thing is sumptuous.
    Karajan 2 on DG is spoiled by actors who sound nothing like the singers. But the conducting and singing are fine.
    Then there is the old Beecham which has a good cast and some wizardry from the put.
    The Callas is only recommended for the diva herself. Pretre rushes the whole thing and the Massard and Gedda sound as if Callas would eat them alive!

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    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    The ROH Carmen is pretty raunchy in parts the right parts of course! I have the DVD. I do Love Elena Obraztsova singing the role. In her heyday She was amazing. De Los Angeles with Beecham is a great CD (Nicolai Gedda Is lovely too) Nothing wrong with the Julia Migenes Domingo Movie either...
    Did I miss something already?

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The Callas is only recommended for the diva herself. Pretre rushes the whole thing and the Massard and Gedda sound as if Callas would eat them alive!
    I disagree. I think the Callas set is recommendable all round. It's very French. French orchestra and chorus,French conductor, French cast except for Callas and Gedda. I really like Andrea Guiot's plucky Micaela. I prefer Pretre's brisk speeds to Karajan's over languorous ones in his second recording, where the score is loved to death. Massard is perfectly fine as Escamillo. Gedda sounds like what he is, a nice young man caught up in something he cannot hope to understand or deal with, and Callas makes sense of the role like virtually no other. Dangereuse et belle as Micaela describes her and Callas is dangerous from the word go. No problem imagining this Carmen might pull a knife on a fellow worker in a fight. A total free spirit who would die rather than let any man control her, she is like a female Don Juan. Maybe that's why contemporary critics (usually men) found her portrayal hard to take.

    I listened to it again only recently when I got the Callas Remastered box, and I honestly think it's the most plausible version I've ever come across. I don't subscribe to this idea that Carmen should be charming or coquettish. Her allure is her danger. Only Baltsa, of all the other versions I've heard, really approaches Callas in this respect.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I disagree. I think the Callas set is recommendable all round. It's very French. French orchestra and chorus,French conductor, French cast except for Callas and Gedda. I really like Andrea Guiot's plucky Micaela. I prefer Pretre's brisk speeds to Karajan's over languorous ones in his second recording, where the score is loved to death. Massard is perfectly fine as Escamillo. Gedda sounds like what he is, a nice young man caught up in something he cannot hope to understand or deal with, and Callas makes sense of the role like virtually no other. Dangereuse et belle as Micaela describes her and Callas is dangerous from the word go. No problem imagining this Carmen might pull a knife on a fellow worker in a fight. A total free spirit who would die rather than let any man control her, she is like a female Don Juan. Maybe that's why contemporary critics (usually men) found her portrayal hard to take.

    I listened to it again only recently when I got the Callas Remastered box, and I honestly think it's the most plausible version I've ever come across. I don't subscribe to this idea that Carmen should be charming or coquettish. Her allure is her danger. Only Baltsa, of all the other versions I've heard, really approaches Callas in this respect.
    You've said it before and I've agreed with you before, but TC gives us unlimited opportunities to repeat ourselves and annoy everyone who disagrees with us and what could be more fun?

    Callas IS Carmen, as the ads said when the set came out. This is not the gypsy next door. Back in college I played some of this - Carmen's arias - for a fellow music student. His eyes widened, his mouth opened, and he said something I can't remember after 45 years, but it meant something like "WOW! Sexy! Don't mess with her!"

    Carmen. Alongside your choice of nice girls, own this one for the days when you need to test your manhood.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Dec-13-2014 at 07:16.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I disagree. I think the Callas set is recommendable all round. It's very French. French orchestra and chorus,French conductor, French cast except for Callas and Gedda. I really like Andrea Guiot's plucky Micaela. I prefer Pretre's brisk speeds to Karajan's over languorous ones in his second recording, where the score is loved to death. Massard is perfectly fine as Escamillo. Gedda sounds like what he is, a nice young man caught up in something he cannot hope to understand or deal with, and Callas makes sense of the role like virtually no other. Dangereuse et belle as Micaela describes her and Callas is dangerous from the word go. No problem imagining this Carmen might pull a knife on a fellow worker in a fight. A total free spirit who would die rather than let any man control her, she is like a female Don Juan. Maybe that's why contemporary critics (usually men) found her portrayal hard to take.

    I listened to it again only recently when I got the Callas Remastered box, and I honestly think it's the most plausible version I've ever come across. I don't subscribe to this idea that Carmen should be charming or coquettish. Her allure is her danger. Only Baltsa, of all the other versions I've heard, really approaches Callas in this respect.
    Pretre has as much nuance as a pneumatic drill. Dreadful! Gedda is pretty feeble - more so than in his Beecham set while Massard's Escamillo is remarkable for its lack of swagger - the notes are sung but much much else. Callas is remarkable but way past her best voice.

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