Friday, August 29, 2008

Carmen: best of the lot

Seeing the second-to-last performance of Carmen at Glyndebourne yesterday left me convinced all over again that this opera is a complete no-holds-barred masterpiece. The performance there had grown tremendously since the dress rehearsal: huge assurance and relish from the LPO and conductor Stephane Deneve, and Tania Kross as Carmen was a knockout.

But never mind the melodies, the spectacle and the toreador costumes from Seville, it's the last scene that counts the most; and Glyndebourne just can't quite match the Covent Garden production which, as performed here by Anna-Caterina Antonacci and Jonas Kaufmann, has the most powerful interpretation of it that I've ever been lucky enough to see. Voila.