Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ in Athens

Shows of Georges Bizet’s opera «Carmen,» a National Opera production which opened at the Olympia Theater last weekend, will run to Sunday. When the opera first opened in Paris in 1875, it shocked the audience; the leading character, a flirtatious girl prone to various love affairs, was not a topic that went down well at the time, though later «Carmen» became one of the best loved operas worldwide. Carmen is a young Gypsy woman, a free spirit, who lives in Seville. Don Jose, an army officer, falls passionately in love with her and turns his back on his old life to be with her. Blinded by his passion, when she abandons him for a bullfighter, he kills her. Directed by Vassilis Nikolaidis, the production features Victoria Maifatova as Carmen, Ernesto Grizales as Don Jose, Kyros Patsalidis as Escamillo, Costas Dotsikas as Zuniga, Katerina Kostea as Micaela, and Dionysis Sourbis as Morales, as well as Syranous Tsalikian, Sonia Milenkovic, Costis Rasidakis, Lydia Angelopoulou, Emil Ivanov and others. The sets are by Giorgos Gavalas and the costumes by Claire Braiswell. Ilias Voudouris and Vyronas Fidetzis alternate in conducting the orchestra; the Manolis Kalomiris Children’s Choir also participates, directed by Fani Palamidi.

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