20 April – Such a cultural weekend! Great frocks, memorable music, passion and sophistication. I’ve seen several musicals, plus modern opera in the form of Gilbert & Sullivan, and several years ago watched this opera on tv as part of a Carmen season, but this was the first time I’d seen a non-amateur /live production with an international Mezzo-Soprano (Nadezhda Stoianova). Not to mention a real live donkey in the first act! Luckily for me, too, there were quite a few empty seats so I was able to move from cheap seats right at the back to substantially more expensive seats at the front of the circle.
Marks: 9/10 – this is going to sound so plebeian but there was something about the operatic singing that detracted from the real pathos of Carmen’s situation. I wonder if others seeing opera for the first time feel the same? Also, I would have been completely carried away with the drama if the theatre hadn’t taken it upon itself to have four – yes, four – intervals. Two loo breaks, and two intervals long enough for a G&T had the effect of keeping us constantly aware that we were just vulgar onlookers rather than active participants in Carmen’s tragedy. Shame, really.