Prokofiev The Angel of Fire

After having finished the composition of The love of the three oranges, Prokòfiev discovers The Angel of Fire in a New York bookstore, a novel published in chapters by a reference author of Russian symbolism, Valeri Briúsov. Immediately, and without any commission, Prokòfiev begins to write the libretto for an opera that he will never see performed on stage.

From the beginning of its composition, Prokòfiev was well aware of the difficulties that his work would have to be premiered. He finished writing The Fire Angel in 1926 in Paris. At that moment, Bruno Walter, director of the Städtische Oper in Berlin, became aware of its existence and showed interest in it. But they realized the great complexity of the work and that it would not arrive in time to be scheduled for that season., So they decided to abandon the project..

The next attempt to put her on stage took place when the Metropolitan of New York contacted Prokòfiev. But nevertheless, this time, the difficulty in finding singers who wanted to face the challenge, prevented your programming.

It was not until 1954, a year after the composer's death, when The Fire Angel premiered in Paris, even if it was in concert version. Was the 14 September 1955 when it was first staged at the Venice Contemporary Music Festival, in La Fenice. Mario Nordio made an Italian version with the musical direction of Nino Sanzogno, stage direction by Giorgio Strehler, Ezio Frigerio's wardrobe, the set design by Luciano Damiani, and the lead role of Renata by Doroty Dow.

There may be two main reasons that explain the difficulties in premiering this opera. One of them was the treatment of sensitive issues, like the ones that addressed the libretto. Prokòfiev adapting the original work by Briúsov, had stripped it of the magical elements alluding to witchcraft. The composer himself describes these difficulties in a letter: “The Fire Angel can be a fascinating and powerful opera, will express drama and terror, but you have to avoid any devil or any vision that may be explicitly on stage, but, runs the risk of falling into pure theatrical masquerade”. Prokofiev was well aware that in adapting Briusov's text he had to eliminate the explicit scenes and present them ambiguously through the protagonist.. Prokòfiev went on to say in his letter: “The other great difficulty is that the entire opera is centered on the two main characters. If I don't get them off the scene at some point, we are not going to find any singer who can with these characters”.

This is the second reason why The Fire Angel could not be released. The play, whose weight falls almost exclusively on the two main characters, was of such vocal demand, that no singer was willing to interpret it.

After so many frustrated attempts and fearing that it would never be performed and the music would be lost, Prokòfiev incorporated much of the musical material from the opera in Symphony No. 3 On. 44.

The scenery of Calixto Bieito, presenting this opera for the first time in Spain, masterfully couples with the score and libretto. Not just fit the job, but it enhances the deepest psychological aspects. We need to remember, that when this opera was composed, psychoanalysis was developing throughout Europe, and set design by Rebecca Ringst, composed of a rotating construction, attends to the description of the human brain made by Freud: “The brain is like a house with many rooms”. And that's what the stage crew has done, a house with many rooms, linked together by stairs. Similar in concept to Claus Guth's creations, the apartment structure shows defined spaces and others more ambiguous, forming an architectural ensemble that fits perfectly with the psychological swarm of the protagonist.
At the end of the performance, the structure separates, decomposing the building, in the same way that the psychological labyrinth of the protagonists is diluted. The result is very sophisticated and the emotional intensity it represents, does not conflict at any time with the music.

It was the first time Gustavo Gimeno conducted an opera by Prokòfiev and the result has been satisfactory, given the complexity of the score. The orchestra maintains the dramatic tension, which is almost permanent, although some more defined orchestral plans and a cleaner sound were missing.

The choral part of this score is diabolical and the titular Choir of the Teatro, Intermezzo, has had an outstanding intervention. The patterns they use, apparently simple, by repetitive, they are highly complex, because all repetitions are different. In fact, when the opera premiered at La Fenice in the 1955, the choir stood in the pit, to be able to have the sheet music.

The Angel of Fire is conceived around the singers. The voice demand, emotionally and physically is superior to any opera that has been written so far. Renata's leading role is absolute and her performance exhausting. She is a traumatized woman trapped by the ghosts of her past and the Latvian soprano Ausrine Stundyte., reflects perfectly through his interpretation, those thoughts that harass and excite her. Stundyte does not rest for a single moment in the two long hours that the work lasts. He runs through the three floors of the stage without rest and without lowering the intensity of his tormented character. With a great central support and mighty treble, had the ability to reach the end of the performance with vocal and interpretive freshness almost intact.

Renata was very well accompanied on stage by the Ruprecht of the British Leigh Melrose, already known in this theater for his participation in Gloriana and Death in Venice. His interpretive ability is beyond doubt.. He showed us a Ruprecht infected by Renata's hysteria and absolutely disturbed by her. His vocal part was not easy either, with the added difficulty of not having the support of the orchestra in many moments, which requires a tuning work that he solved gracefully. The fatigue caused by the histrionics and effort with which he gave his character was noticed a little at the end..
How much Prokòfiev would have liked to have counted on Stundyte and Melrose in his attempts to release The Fire Angel…

Dmitry Golovnin was in charge of giving life to Agrippa von Nettesheim, a more philosophical character and another much darker, Mephistopheles. Its timbre is sharp and penetrating and it was disturbing enough in both cases.
Dmitry Ulianov, already an old acquaintance of the Madrid public, gave a good performance with his dark and round voice and his always imposing stage presence.
Mika Kares did not know how to transfer his physical presence as an inquisitor to the projection of his voice. The Finnish bass stayed a fair bit of power.
Agnieszka Rehlis, in her dual role as seer and superior, He was very successful in his interpretation., enigmatic and unsettling. Good also in the vocal part, showing good bass registers and enough power.
The tenor Josep Fadó demonstrated an excellent sonority and presence. David Lagares also stood out in his brief speeches. They both did a good performance.. The rest of comprimarios were at a good level, complementing a very balanced cast. Nino Surguladze, as innkeeper and Anna Gomá and Estibaliz Martyn, as novices.

This production of The Fire Angel is spectacular, hypnotic. By the end, you realize that you have been immersed in a world difficult to describe and full of intensity. A work that leaves no one indifferent, even less in these moments in which, effectively, we are immersed in a world difficult to describe.

The angel of fire

Between days 22 March and 5 of April, Royal Theatre offer 10 functions from The angel of fire, from Sergei Prokofiev, in a production with stage direction by calixto Bieito, released in 2017, with great success, at the Zurich Opera and musical direction of Gustavo Gimeno.

The angel of fire It is the sixth of the ten operas composed by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), that would leave another four unfinished. The originality, irreverence and expressive freedom of previous titles, as The player O The Love for Three Oranges, had already forged their skill in operatic writing that, with The angel of fire, would get a new boost.

The play, with libretto by the composer based on the homonymous novel by the Russian symbolist writer Valeri Briúsov (1873-1924), had a long and eventful gestation (from 1919 a 1927) and a no less difficult path after the score is finished.

His satanic plot, grotesque and delirious recounts, throughout seven scenes (in five acts), Renata's tricky path, possessed by evil spirits since the supernatural appearance, in his infancy, de Madiel, the angel of fire, until its tragic end.

the libretto, than a la alquimia, the Witchery, the cabalistics, exorcism or inquisition in force in pre-Lutheran obscurantist Germany, originated a score with a language of expressionist overtones, moving away from the nationalist heritage, favoring somber tones and the incorporation of dissonant passages, harsh vocal melodies and declamations rooted in Russian prosody. the wild orchestration, vibrant, contrasting, 'obsessive', lyrical and supernatural, maintains an almost cinematic dramatic tension. (Prokofiev would be a great soundtrack composer, especially in his great collaborations with Sergei Eisenstein, from Alexander Nevsky a Ivan the Terrible).

The opera, in whose ambiguous and disconcerting script sexual violence underlies, psychic disorders, macabre practices, perversity, religious fervor, etc., caused the rejection of several theaters until its premiere in 1954, after Prokofiev's death, in a concert version, translated into french, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. The next year, in 1955, the opera was finally staged, under the direction of Giorgio Strehler, and arrived, in Italian, to the Fenice of Venice. Its presentation in the original Russian version takes place, discreetly, and Perm, in 1987. In Russia, where opera was banned throughout the Soviet period, The angel of fire finally took to the stage of the Kirov Theater in Saint Petersburg as part of the Prokofiev centenary commemorations, in 1991.

The production conceived by calixto Bieito, with dramaturgy of Beate Breidenbach, avoid the esotericism of the libretto, archetype of Russian symbolism, and delves into the real drama of the protagonist. In his alienated and wounded mind, the scenes of the opera follow one another like flashes of memory, recreated in the rooms arranged in a rotating structure designed by the set designer Rebecca Ringst what, with the illumination of Franck Evin and the distressing videos of Sarah Derendinger, transforms into a real house of horrors. just a bike, freedom symbol, Renata's fragility and flight, remember the lost innocence of his childhood.

The musical direction will be in charge of Gustavo Gimeno, Valencian director of recognized national and international prestige, which will debut in the pit of the Real, leading a double cast led by the sopranos Ausrine Stundyte Y Elena Popovskaya (Renata), baritones Leigh Melrose Y Dimitris Tiliakos (Ruprecht), tenors Dmitry Golovnin Y Vsevolod Grivnov (Agrippa of Nettesheim / Mephistopheles), the mezzosopranos Agnieszka Rehlis Y Olesya Petrova (The Mother Superior / Seer), the short ones Mika Kares Y Pavel Daniluk (the inquisitor), who will act together with Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real Headlines.

Since the reopening of the Teatro Real, in 1997, three operas by Sergei Prokofiev have been presented on its stage: War and peace, in 2001, in a Mariinsky Theater production, with musical direction by Valery Gergiev and stage direction by Andréi Konchalovski; The Love for Three Oranges, in 2006, in a co-production of the Royal Theater with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, with musical direction by Tugan Sokhiev and stage direction by Philippe Calvario; Y, In that same year, Semyon Kotko, with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra and Choir, under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

The Teatro Real finally opens in Spain The angel of fire, when, little by little, theaters around the world recover this opera misunderstood in its time, whose shadowy symbolist paths lead to the depths, unspeakable and dark of the human soul.

Photograph © Monika Rittershaus

Annalisa Stroppa, Carmen

Few people have such an affinity with the vocalism of the Italian mezzosoprano Annalisa Stroppa as the protagonist of Carmen Bizet. He has sung in various scenarios since he debuted in 2011 en el Teatro Sociale di Trento (Italy) to resume at the Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges (France), Bregenz Festival (Austria) or season Alfredo Kraus of Las Palmas, always it is hailed by critics and the public. He explains, He is delighted to return to Spain, “even more so with such a fascinating character as the Gypsy of Bizet and assembly of Calixto Bieito, full of challenges for the performers”.

Brescia singer stresses that, for her, this myth represents Andalusian "a woman of exceptional modernity; It is consistent with his ideas, a free being who believes in everything he does and follows its own rules to the bitter end, even to the point of sacrificing his life. Is a character who has many facets, all the complex and fascinating time. We should not be the stereotypical idea of ​​the femme fatal cigarrera, because Carmen is much more than that; is a strong and vulnerable at the same time be and, definitely, candy artists we like to live intensely the emotions of the roles we play”.

And if the vocalism of the paper is to him as ring to the finger, considers that its affinity with the character so much about as a woman and interpreter.

The work will be offered at the Teatre Principal de Palma, In mallorca, the days 1, 4, 6 Y 8 of March, with the Valencian Manuel Coves on the podium ante Symphony Balearic Islands.

After his debut Mallorcan, Annalisa Stroppa will offer performances in Verona, Munich, Wiesbaden, Bregenz y Budapest, also debuting at the Savonlinna Festival Summer, in Finland.

Annalisa Stroppa

Home theater, Palma

Photograph: Carmen Bregenz

CURRENT OPERA has delivered today its Awards 2019, the awards given since 2002 the only magazine in the lyrical genre that is published in Spain and one of the most important in the world. The winners are:


A Spanish director scene Calixto Bieito



Prize includes the general director, Maria Serra MARTIN


The Spanish soprano Leonor BONILLA

-Made in the act in the Circle of the Liceo de Barcelona- Seville soprano Leonor Bonilla He offered a recital accompanied by the teacher Carlos Aragon, while the general director of the Liceu Conservatori explained details of his doctoral thesis on the origin of both the governing body as the Gran Teatre Liceu of the. They presented the awards Without Fernando River, president of this publication has been published since 1991; Pablo Meléndez-Haddad, chief editor of the magazine; Y Albert Garriga, OPERA ACTUAL correspondent in Zurich.

They attended the personalities quote from the business world and culture as Oriol Aguilà, President of the Association Opera XXI, which brings together the coliseums and festivals programming lyrical Spain and director of the Festival Castell de Peralada; Xavier Cester, Director of the Department of Music of the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries (ICEC) and collaborator of ÓPERA CURRENT; senior leadership of the opera houses Barcelona (Gran Teatre del Liceu: Salvador Alemany, Valenti Oviedo, Victor Garcia de Gomar, Leticia Martin), Sabadell (Association of Friends of the Opera Sabadell: Mirna Lacambra) and Sevilla (Teatro La Maestranza: Javier Menendez); President of the Festival Castell de Peralada, Matthew Isabel Suqué; the president of the Circle of the Lyceum, Francisco Gaudier and members of the host entity as José García-Reyes, Luis Lopez de Lamadrid Y Manuel Bertrand; the presidente of the Society of Gran Teatre del Liceu, Xavier Coll; presidente of Friends of the Liceu, Ramon Bassas; President of the Foundation Ferrer-Salat Music, Sergio Ferrer-Salat; Vice President of the Foundation Damm, Ramon Agenjo; President of the Association of the Paseo de Gracia Without Luis; the director of the OperaStudio of the University of Alcalá, Lourdes Perez-Sierra; and artists such as stage director Paco Azorín or actress Roser Road, In addition to the patrons of OPERA ACTUAL Awards 2019.

Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

The soldiers en el Real Teatrom

Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

Die Soldaten at the Royal Theater

the Soldaten5

the Soldaten6

the Soldaten7



There are many artistic expressions that have tried to reflect one of the main features of the twentieth century in its most negative, the horror, aberration and evil man is capable of generating almost infinitely. And there have been many artists, tragically influenced by having lived firsthand the cruelty of World War II. One of them was the German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann is, definitely, one that has best reflected the vivid violence.

Zimmermann received direct influences of the musical vanguard that was haunting Europe. Entre ellos Schoenberg, Bartok, Webern, Stravinski o Kagel. Die Soldaten has as great inspirational source Alban Berg's Wozzeck. Both start from the same literary origin, the play by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, poet and writer of the eighteenth century and one of the greatest exponents of Sturm und Drang movement. Lenz committed suicide with just 23 years after a troubled and full life imbalances. Zimmermann also ended up committing suicide, just five years after the premiere of Die Soldaten.

The similarities are evident Wozzeck, not only in the origin, Also in the musical structure and, as base, dodecaphonism. Die Soldaten is dotted with lyricism and jazzy moments. This mixture of styles Zimmermann called “pluralistic approach”, which it is nothing but a collage made up of different musical concepts and structures.

Upon entering the room we expected the projection of a giant portrait child. It is the innocence of the protagonist, Marie, before falling prey to the tragedy and the moral degradation of other characters. The girl will reappear at the end of the work, dead after a heartbreaking end that shows the annihilation of innocence in a sleazy and destructive world.

Behind the curtain a huge ready industrial architecture appears in several planes in which are housed the 120 Teachers Orchestra. All in uniform and militarized for the occasion. 18 drum sets and 25 timpani fall within this orchestral mechano thunder, which it occupies almost all of the stage dramatically, leaving little space for the singers in the place normally occupied by the moat. This provision so far from some instruments has led to its amplification with mixed results, because it ends up not listening, for example, the harp.

On the other hand, the proximity of the singers to the public creates an effect close-up that enhances the vocal result and, especially, theatricality. The fact that the singers are outside the visually director requires only have a repeater manager to input voices. A complicated task that Vladimir Junyent performs with reliability and precision.

It is not easy to create a work that produces stupor, restlessness, and unrest and tear, both, the feeling of having witnessed a colossal work. The unique and compelling description of human gap through a score and a booklet that has passed, to be an impossible work, to be one of the references of twentieth century music. All thanks to the joint effort and herculean all who participate.

The scenery of Bieito do not need in this production of the excesses that both like and characterize this controversial director, whether or not justified. This time, excessiveness of the work exceeds the set designer, that's saying. But any more hype would have collapsed scenery overload.

It has placed the orchestra on stage to give it the prominence it has, all. A music that literally crushes the characters by dragging them to exhaustion, using the instruments almost as ammunition in the middle of this musical and scenographic violence.

Pablo Heras-Casado gets a performance of extraordinary orchestra. The arrangement of the musicians makes his very complex work. Zimmermann included in this work all unimaginable difficulties taking it to the limit. The Heras-Casado himself warned: "Die Soldaten is the most extreme challenge that any musician can face". Listen this score is not easy, but getting materialize reading with a huge orchestra, He is fronting the work for the first time in the scenic provision has been raised, It is almost miraculous.

As for the vocal score, Die Soldaten is an extraordinary demand for its extreme tessitura. Susanne Elmark plays Marie. A complex and diabolical character in his vocal and interpretative difficulty. Starts being naive and a bit naughty to transform, as they move tragedies, a woman destroyed after being brutally raped and turned into prostitute of the soldiery. Elmark perfectly reflects the emotional and psychological depths of Marie. vocally impossible, Danish soprano gives everything on stage.

Leigh Melrose's Stolzius is the perfect replica for Marie. We could see recently in Britten's Gloriana and both shows his great vocal and dramatic ability.

Uwe Sticker brings to life a highly complex Desportes vocals, full of treble, Rushing to safely Sticker. He had a major role in this impossible score.

Julia Riley as Charlotte, Iris Vermillion as Mother of Stolzius and Noëmi Nadelmann as Countess de la Roche, They showed his good acting skills, in this work that requires best actors singers.

The surprise of the evening was the great Hanna Schwarz. This veteran interpreter, their 76 years, He filled the stage with his deep bass in an unforgettable performance. His characterization of the elderly mother of Wesener, connected to their serum to demonstrate the weakness of character, filled with concern the whole plot.

Stellar, once again, the choir Intermezzo, choir for the Teatro Real, under the direction of Andrés Máspero.

The musical language of this work is not for everyone, bold and adventurous ears are required, but these qualities can also be trained. That is why Die Soldaten is a necessary work, almost mandatory, and not well understood that there are still large audience that takes advantage of breaks to flee when they represent some of these contemporary operas. Patience has its rewards, and this premiere at the Royal Theater, it has been expected, but it's very worthwhile.

The soldiers

The soldiers (1965), considered in its day 'unrepresentable' for its complexity, demand and monumentality, It is a landmark in the history of twentieth-century opera and a huge challenge for a theater.

The Royal Theatre will offer 7 Opera functions between days 16 May and 3 of June, in a new production originally created by the Opera de Zúrich (September 2013) and the Komische Oper de Berlín (June and July 2014).

Scene address calixto Bieito not hide or disguise the harshness and violence of the opera, confronting the viewer with the senselessness, abjection, the horror and despair extolling wartime.

Pablo Heras-Casado It will be responsible for the musical direction of the very difficult score, written for 16 singers, 10 actors, dancers, choir, an orchestra with more than 100 ─ which it includes musicians and jazz band 13 percusionistas─, In addition to using chairs and tables as percussion, magnetic stripe, Sounds of War, projections, etc.

The Titular Orchestra of the Teatro Real It ─con characterized as musicians and soldiers wielding their instruments like armas─ play at center stage, with the performers acting on the moat, near the public.

In the ensemble cast of The soldiers It emphasizes the leading quartet with soprano Susanne Elmark (Marie), baritone Leigh Melrose (Stolz), the bass Pavel Daniluk (Wesener) and tenors Uwe Stickert Y Martin Koch, which turns on the interpretation of Desportes.

The 7 functions The soldiers They will alternate with 5 representations Street Scene, two operas that explore, from times, spaces and very different languages, the brutality of gender violence.

Inabarcable to deepen the musical and metaphysical richness of The soldiers, ─ there will be a colloquiumEnfoques─ he 9 of May, a lecture on the opera, he 11 of May, and brief presentation of the production, Prior to each function, Hand José Luis Téllez, also available online.

Functions The soldiers They are sponsored by the BBV FoundationA.

The premiere in Spain, the next 16 of May, from The soldiers, from Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970), coinciding with the anniversary of the composer is, definitely, one of the great landmarks of programming Bicentenary of the Royal Theatre.

Released in Cologne 1965, after a long and troubled gestation ─ and several adjustments to make viable the interpretation of the partitura─, The soldiers It has since become a benchmark in the history of opera, although the vast means needed to put on stage each new production become an artistic event.

Bernd Alois Zimmermann, that nation Bliesheim, Colonia, in 1918 within a bourgeois deeply Catholic family, He was forced to enlist in the army 21 years to participate in the Second World War, from which he emerged with lungs full of lead and deranged mind.

Su brief and intense carrera, suicide truncated by the 52 years, It developed in the turbulent times of war, when Europe, lacerated, He is trying to heal the wounds with walls and iron curtains.

Based on the work The soldiers, the visionary writer Jakob Lenz (1751-1792), champion of the Romantic movement storm and stress (Storm and momentum), Zimmermann uses the path of destruction of Marie, soldiers become a homeless prostitute, as a metaphor for moral and ethical degeneration of humanity to cross the threshold of endurance and the expressible: a terrifying journey to the darkest corners of the human being, inhabited by a monster that is excited with the perversity and rejoices with pain.

The soldiers rupturistas drinks from the musical currents of the second half of last century, Polarized in Darmstadt, but also of Western musical tradition, jazz, del pop, Of the radio, film and the technical possibilities offered direct recording and sound processing.

All that realizes The soldiers, a colossal 'collage' vertical and horizontal, Performing multiple layers, that part of a structure 12 notes (serialismo) structured by ─chacona recognizable musical forms, chopped, to research, nocturno─ associated with each of the 15 scenes and fed by an unlimited universe of sound, It is incorporating from Bach chorale and jazz rhythms to the sound of bombs and shrill cries of agony.

This radical and incomprehensible opera, classical theater that transcends boundaries weather ─las past scenes superimpose, present and futuro─; from place ─con actions (Up To Eleven!) simultaneous in different espacios─; and action ─con narrative drive permanent disintegration and recomposición─; He arrives at the Royal Theater in stark production conceived by calixto Bieito and released a huge impact on the Zurich Opera House in 2013.

Based on the guidelines Zimmermann, It is urging the orchestra and performers put on a central stage surrounded by the audience, Bieito placed the orchestra in the center of the scene, in an installation designed by scenographer Rebecca Ringst simulating a barracks where musicians 'armed' with their instruments are partakers of barbarism.

The public is summoned to contemplate scenes of barracks and attacks that are articulated and mingle with familiar staccato dialogue and vacuous military talks by screams and gunshots sprayed, in a mosaic painstakingly constructed with bursts of lives intertwined in a spiral leading inexorably into the abyss and stupor. Two hours of hard reality translocated to the stage: art not to die of truth.

The soldiers It was finally released in Spain, 53 years after its creation, without losing its cathartic strength and a disturbing today.


3, 8 Y 10 of May, of the 19.00 to 21.00 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

monographic course The soldiers taught by Gabriel Menendez Torrellas

9 May at 20.15 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

approaches: meeting with artists participating in The soldiers and Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real
11 May at 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, Sala Gayarre

ConferenceThe soldiers': quaver of a tragedy, by Arnoldo Liberman
27 May at 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, Great room

Chamber Sundays, by soloists of the Orchestra of the Teatro Real Owner
part I

Erwin Schulhoff: Duo for violin and cello
André Jolivet: Concerto for flute and string orchestra

part II
Benjamin Britten: Tear
Luciano Berio: Folksonges for voice and 7 instruments


Twenty years he has this Carmen from calixto Bieito finally arriving to the Royal Theater. Production more represented in the history of this opera, It comes with some controversy over "adjustments" that the art team has been forced to perform on supposedly offensive scenes. The changes are merely cosmetic, so as not to focus on certain elements that only pretended to be artistic expressions.

Based on the work of Prosper Mérimée, Bizet adapted the text, which was very attractive to the public at the time by the Spanish exoticism and somewhat lustful elements, and created some players that, this time, They were not kings, emperors or gods, If no characters from the street, exposed with maximum crudeness and far from existing operatic archetype so far. Bizet puts the work in a specific social category and in a particular medium. This is perhaps the main reason that made its debut result in scandal.

It should be clarified that gender opera comique, to which he belonged Carmen, It does not mean that it is a comic opera, refers to a genre that opposed the serious opera or great opera was represented in Paris. It is about, not so much of the humor of the arguments, if not technical issues, as alternating between fragments spoken and sung. This so straightforward to express the text mode has a great theatrical and musical impact. Music is much more direct and Carmen sings, are not arias, but songs, Bizet himself as he wrote. There is only one character, created by composer, since it does not appear in the original work, It is having arias themselves, Micaëla.

Bizet died just weeks after its release, without enjoying the success of his opera after the initial scandal. It was one of his disciples who, in an effort to make a serious opera Carmen, instead of an opera comique, He introduced a series of amendments adding recitatives and music. He managed thereby that the dominant image of Carmen throughout the twentieth century has been very different from the original idea conceived Bizet. It was important, because, reposition the story of Carmen and return the characters to their original idea.

It is here where it appears one of the virtues of Calixto Bieito, his way of directing actors. And it is this direction of actors, and not the scenery or stage elements, what makes the difference in this production over others we've seen before.

This Carmen is one of the first productions of Calixto Bieito. And he pointed it his taste for controversy and some extravagances often become protagonists of their productions. What we are not thought that, to modify any of these most controversial elements, Naked as the work quedase so the scenery of Alfonso Linings. Characterized by the absence of elements, He has presented an empty stage, Just a phone booth and some grant years 70, until 6, They have occupied the stage during the first two acts. He has not missed a naked, taste very Bieito, through a helper that makes the moon "as is" at the beginning of the third act. Decorated the bleak drama gets weaken and numbs the orchestra, that especially in the prelude and the first two acts he had a direction of Marc Piollet routine and little gimmicky. Despite being one of the most vital repertoire scores, got it sounded vulgar in some passages.

Bieito wanted to get away from the folclorismos that have characterized so many times this opera, but it does lunging others you españoladas. It merely update clichés, without leaving them. raising, contradictorily, a return to Spain deep.

In this dive to Spain tambourine, draws characters that, although they are closer to the original idea of ​​Bizet, They do not stop taking their roles forcefully. The Carmen de anna Goryachova It is full of sensuality, but his temperament is not as strong as intended. Vocally not much to blame. Her mezzo voice is homogeneous and balanced, although its volume was resulting in decreased as the work progressed. Its beautiful timbre looked more in the central records in serious but had a good performance, in general terms.

Francesco Meli not able to give the image of a rustic and fierce Don Jose. It turned meek, especially in the scenes of gang, much like West Side Story. In the vocal part he was more successful. It has a beautiful timbre and a good volume of voice were enough to tackle this role.

Eleonora Buratto builds a Micaëla which is not as naive as it may seem at first, suggests a self stroke. It is always a complicated character for being a little out of place, to be added in the work. The Buratto boasts a somewhat excessive volume of voice but lution in the arias and especially in his beautiful duet with Don José's first act.

The Escamillo of Kyle Ketelsen It is very attractive and manly. His resounding voice to the character fortalció. He defended his role with dignity.

The two pairs formed by comprimarios Olivia Doray, as Frasquita and Lidia Vinyes Curtis, as Mercedes and Maybe Borja, as Le Dancaire and Mikeldi Atxalandabaso, in the role of Le Remendado, were high, vocally and in interpretative. They are well within the decadent world unwrapped low funds created for the occasion by Bieito. The Lillas Pastia of Alain Azérot, a dastardly character, I was approached by the French correctly and professionalism.

The chorus, in its line of excellence. He shone particularly spectacular in the fourth act, by the Choir of Young Singers of JORCAM.

A Carmen, Regrettably, It will be best remembered for the scandal that was not, that staging.

Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
Opéra comique in four acts
Libretto Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy deHenri based on the novel (1845) Prosper Merimee
Premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris 3 March 1875
Production of the Opéra National de Paris
D. musical: Marc Piollet
D. scene: calixto Bieito
Scenographer: Alfons Flores
Costume designer: Merce Paloma
Lighting: Alberto Rodriguez Vega
Replacement: Yves Lenoir
D. choir: Andrés Máspero
D children's choir: Ana González
Distribution: anna Goryachova, Francesco Meli, Kyle Ketelsen, Eleonora Buratto, Olivia Doray, Lidia Vinyes Curtis, Maybe Borja, Mikeldi Atxalandabaso, Alain Azérot, Jean Teitgen, Isaac Galan
Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real
Little Singers of ORCAM


Between days 11 October 18 November Theater Royal offer 18 functions Carmen from Georges Bizet (1838-1875), with three different distributions, in the successful production directed by calixto Bieito what, since its premiere in 1999, at the Peralada Festival ─ which co-produced the opera with Opera Zuid Maastricht─, It has been presented in more than 30 theaters in Europe and America and offered in Spain at the San Lorenzo del Escorial Auditorium (2009), Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (2010 Y 2015) and the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao (2014).

In addition to this tour of the opera houses (which will continue after the Royal Theater), the quality of the production is endorsed by the awards it has received, as the Campoamor Award, in Oviedo, in 2011, or Franco Abbiati, in Italy, in 2012.

For the spectacular roaming of production, has contributed, in addition to quality, originality and strength of Calixto Bieito's stage direction, the simple and effective scenography of Alfons Flores.

Along the 18 years, the set initially conceived for Peralada and Maastricht was adapted to the characteristics of each theater and, most unusual case, it was multiplying: several theaters have decided to rebuild the set of Carmen, as the Gran Teatro del Liceu, the Opera San Francisco (who then sold it to the Boston Opera), the English National Opera (in co-production with Oslo Opera House), he Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theater of Bogotá (whose stored decor was recently destroyed by fire), and finally, the Paris Opera, who did the scenography for the Bastille Theater last summer and who, by its proportions, is the one that best adapts to the stage of the Royal Theater.

In his dramaturgical proposal for Carmen, calixto Bieito moves the opera away from the picturesque focus and moves its plot to Ceuta over the years 70, border area conducive to the universe of smuggling and marginalization, in which the situation of the protagonists is presented with a tear, referring to the confusion caused by the premiere of the play in Paris, in 1875, when the public rejected his naturalistic drama.

Georges Bizet, deeply disappointed in the poor reception of his opera, tired and sick, would die three months later, with scarcely 36 years, without intuiting that his Carmen, precursor of Italian verism, would become one of the most performed operas in the world.

Following in the wake of Federico García Lorca, that asked the actors to show ‘the bones and blood of their characters’, Bieito demands a visceral interpretation of the singers and the choir, in which seduction, the passion, sex, the abuse, humiliation, the male chauvinism, jealousy and unreason reach the viewer with emotional violence and a frenetic pace, empowered by life to the limit in that hyperbolic underworld, not without a haunting poetry, reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino O Martin Scorsese.

At the Teatro Real, three casts by renowned singer-actors will give life to Bizet's opera, led by mezzo-sopranos anna Goryachova, Stephanie d'Oustrac Y Gaëlle Arquez (Carmen), tenors Francesco Meli, Andrea Carè Y Leonardo Caimi (Mr Jose), las sopranos Eleonora Buratto Y Olga Busuioc (Micaëla) and the baritones-bass Kyle Ketelsen Y Vito Priante (Escamillo) what, with the rest of the cast and the Headlines Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, will perform under the musical direction of Marc Piollet, great expert in the nineteenth-century French repertoire.

The different readings and interpretations that arise from Bizet's fabulous score and its ability to provoke emotions make Carmen a work always alive and universal.


  1. Peralada Festival, 1999 (premiere)
  2. Opera South, Maastricht, 2000
  3. Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, 2002
  4. Flanders Opera, Antwerp, 2004
  5. Flanders Opera, Ghent, 2004
  6. Opera South, Maastricht, 2007
  7. Parquet Theater Eindoven, 2007
  8. Theater on the Parade, the Bosch, 2007
  9. Lucent Danstheater, Hague, 2007
  10. Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht, 2007
  11. Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, 2007
  12. Theater, Tilburg, 2007
  13. Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Heerlen, 2007
  14. Stadsschouwburg, Groningen, 2007
  15. Theater at the Vrijthof, Maastricht, 2007
  16. Chassé Theater, Breda, 2007
  17. Auditorium of San Lorenzo del Escorial, 2009
  18. Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2010
  19. Theater Basel, Basel, 2012
  20. Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Bogotá, 2012
  21. Regio Theater, Torino, 2012
  22. English National Opera, London, 2012
  23. La Fenice Theater, Venice, 2013
  24. Euskalduna, Bilbao, 2014
  25. English National Opera, London, 2015
  26. Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2015
  27. The Norwegian Opera, Oslo, 2015
  28. Massimo Theater, Palermo, 2016
  29. National Theater of São Carlos, Lisboa, 2016
  30. Boston Lyric Opera, 2016
  31. San Francisco Opera, 2016
  32. La Fenice Theater, Venice, 2017
  33. The Norwegian Opera, Oslo, 2017
  34. Opera National de Paris, 2017


15 October, to 12.00 and to the 17.00 hours | Teatro Real, sala Gayarre

family workshop Everyone to the Gayarre!: "Love is a rebellious bird".

Directed by Fernando Palacios, with the participation of Pilar Vázquez (mezzo soprano) and Elisa Rapado (piano).

16 October, to 19.00 hours | Teatro Real, sala Gayarre

Discussion around Carmen with Carmen Iglesias, Serafin Fanjul, Enriqueta Vila Vilar and Juan Pablo Fusi.

Collaboration with the Real Academia de la Historia

17 October, to 19.00 hours | National Museum of Romanticism

Conference around Carmen

21 October, to 11.00 hours | French institute

creative workshop around production.

Carmen: To imagine, create drawing… like a true artist.

In French (all levels) for children 4 a 8 years

22 October, to 12.00 hours | Teatro Real, living room

Chamber Sundays

Works by Darius Millaud, Maurice Ravel, Ernest Chausson and Claude Debussy

Soloists of the Titular Orchestra of the Teatro Real

27 October, to 18.00 hours | Spanish Film Library, Living room 2

Film Series: Teatro Real: Opera night

Carmen (Spain, 1983). Directed by Carlos Saura. Interpretation: Antonio Gades and Laura del Sol.

Maria Katzarava

Georgian Mexican singer Maria Katzarava returns to Sicily in November to participate in the award-winning production of Carmen de calixto Bieito Barcelona and will offer a tribute to Mexican composer recital Salvador Moreno.

Maria Katzarava agenda does not stop and continues winning and conquering the public of average world. After starting the season with its expected debut starring in Madama Butterfly Puccini en el Teatro Massimo of Palermo, regresar of a México para cantar La Voix Humaine Poulenc In Monterrey, a concert at the Auditorium Blas Galindo Mexico City -a benefit of the Tecolote Foundation Cultural Center through which support young artists of scant resources and adding to its already extensive repertoire a new character getting into the skin of the protagonist in Florence Amazon, from Daniel Catan, always in Mexico, the outstanding soprano return to Sicily to play Micaela in Carmen's famous production of Bizet with stage director Calixto Bieito; It is a co-production between the Sicilian theater, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Teatro Regio in Turin and La Fenice in Venice, in which Katzarava share the stage with Varduhi Abrahamyan (Carmen), Roberto Aronica (Mr Jose) Y Marko Mimica (Escamillo) the days 26 Y 30 November and 2 Y 4 from December. The musical direction will be borne by Alejo Pérez.

He 21 December will close the Festival specialized in Lied Life Victoria organized by the Foundation Victoria de los Angeles with a recital in tribute to Mexican composer Salvador Moreno (1916-1999) on the centenary of his birth; the evening, in which also participate Mexican mezzosoprano dew Tamez, place'll have the emblematic Modernista Sant Pau in Barcelona.

and in 2017, he 10 from January, Maria Katzarava open year cycle debuting at the prestigious London Rosenblatt Recitals.

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