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Debut of opera Carmen in Vietnam

by PV11 November 2015 Last updated at 15:19 PM

VTV.vn - The Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) performed the opera Carmen for the first time in Vietnam on Nov 8th and 9th.

The performance coincided with the 140th anniversary of the CARMEN’s debut (1875-2015) as well as the 140th death anniversary of Georges Bizet, the opera’s composer.

Conducted by French maestro Patrick Soullot, the premiere performance featured French opera artists Sophie Leleu and Olivier Trommenschlager in the roles of Carmen and Don Jose, respectively.

Performers in the production also included HBSO’s leading opera artists such as Tran Hong Vy, Pham Duyen Huyen, Pham Khanh Ngoc and the HBSO Choir and Symphony Orchestra.

Carmen was composed by French composer Georges Bizet, and its libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The four-act opera is set in southern Spain, and tells the tragic love story between Don José, a virtuous soldier, and Carmen, a seductive gypsy.


Ho Chi Minh City theatregoers have had the chance to enjoy the classic opera ‘Carmen’, one of the most famous, successful and performed operas of all time

Ho Chi Minh City theatregoers have had the chance to enjoy the classic opera ‘Carmen’, one of the most famous, successful and performed operas of all time

The opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, on March 3, 1875 but it was not well received. Bizet died suddenly three months after the debut of Carmen and never got to witness its popularity and outstanding success.

In 1938, on the anniversary of Bizet’s 100th birthday, the Opéra-Comique theatre had held 2,271 performances of the opera. The work has enjoyed countless productions around the world and has inspired other works in different forms such as ballet, film and music.

Operas and musicals and are still a new art form for Vietnamese audiences. Moreover, these genres are preferred by a select group of concertgoers. Nevertheless, the performance attracted huge interest from the public. Not only does the play present a romantic tragedy, it also exhibits the most characteristic features of Spanish heritage. The piece has inspired over 30 movies and many ballet interpretations and musical compositions.

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