Bizet’s Carmen has such a surefire story and
score that any performance is almost guaranteed to impact an audience. It was
the composer’s music that carried an unexciting and sometimes dull rendition at
“Carmen is a woman
meant only for love and death.” These were the ominous
words that Prosper Merimee used to describe the coarse
Gypsy character he authored in his grungy 1845 novella. Yet
Carmen’s name would soon...