New opera production of “Carmen” staged in Hanoi

(VOVWORLD) - The famous opera “Carmen” is being staged in a new stylized production at the Hanoi Opera House by the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) from Thursday to Saturday. “Carmen” has been performed in Vietnam many times, but this time the VNOB recreates it with a completely new twist.

New opera production of “Carmen” staged in Hanoi - ảnh 1VNBO artists perform in the famous opera "Carmen". (Photo: Organizing Board)

“Carmen” was composed by Georges Bizet of France in the 19th century. It’s one of the most loved operasand is always one of the most controversial musical productions in the world.

The play is set in Spain, and tells the tale of a beautiful, charming and sexually attractive girl named Carmen, who gets entangled with Corporal Don José. Since its premier, the opera completely broke the grand, argumentative structure of classic opera, and instead depicted the fierce reality of life. It ran contrary to the conventions of aristocratic theater at that time.

Recreating “Carmen” has been a bold and difficult project for the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet. Emeritus artist Phan Manh Duc,  VNOB Director, said that they want to bring a true sense of a world-class opera to the audience, showcased with the skillful techniques and acting ability of the artists.

“When renewing a classical opera, we have to make thorough preparations to ensure its beautiful content and music. It must also be familiar to the Vietnamese audience. We chose ‘Carmen’, which has been previously performed in Vietnam in a rather simple version,” said Mr. Duc.

New opera production of “Carmen” staged in Hanoi - ảnh 2The VNOB Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Dong Quang Vinh (Photo: Organizing Board))

The VNOB invited Leung Siu Kwan, aka Cindy, one of the leading opera directors in Hong Kong (China), to engage in renewing the play, while still retaining the value of the classic work in French.

"Carmen is one of the beloved operas in the world. I wan to bring the fresh ideas to Vietnam and Hanoi. I've produced Carmen over the world many times. I've moved the time to modern period. I've also brought K-Pop and tap dance into the opera. It'll be a very fresh experience to the audience in Vietnam," said Leung Siu Kwan.

The play features many senior artists, including Emeritus Artist Huy Duc, mezzo soprano vocalist Huong Diep, tenor vocalist Anh Vu, and soprano vocalist Dao To Loan together with talented young actors such as Lan Nhung, Truong Linh, and ballet-dancer Duc Hieu.

Anh Vu, who plays Don José, said this is the second time he played the role of Don Jóse. “It’s a Don Jose who is rigid at work, but passionate in love.”

Emeritus artist Huy Duc played the role of Escamillo, a martial artist who is very gallant. “Escamillo is as famous as a superstar,” he said.

To Loan, a prominent Vietnamese soprano vocalist, in the role of Micaela, described the character with three words: pure, resigned, and traditional.

For Huong Diep, this is the second time she played the role of Carmen. “This time I came back with a big change. I have matured and have a certain level of experience to perform this role at my best.”

In 120-minutes, the story is fantastically reimagined with a beautiful live performance by the VNOB Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Dong Quang Vinh. The VNOB’s new version of “Carmen” is bringing its audience to the pinnacle of opera with modern and vibrant choreography.

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