Legendary French opera to be showcased in Vietnam

To commemorate International Women's Day in March, the captivating French musical masterpiece Carmen will grace the Vietnamese stage. This timeless production promises to captivate audiences with its melodic prowess and enchanting storyline. Prepare to be transported into the world of passion, love, and tragedy as Carmen unfolds before your eyes. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the music and let the talented cast mesmerize you with their exceptional performances. Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to experience the magic of Carmen brought to life, marking a celebration of women's strength and empowerment.

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One of the world’s most esteemed operas, Carmen, will be showcased on the Vietnamese stage at the Hanoi Opera House on March 14, 15, and 16.

Artists performing in the opera Carmen in Hanoi. Photo VNOB

The newly staged opera will incorporate innovative elements to enhance its traditional values while providing audiences with a unique experience not seen in previous performances, according to artist Phan Manh Duc, the Director of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB).

Directed by Cindy Leung from Hong Kong, the two-hour classical opera will be performed in French.

Carmen has been presented in seven different versions by the Hong Kong director. The 8th version of Carmen is said to have been “tailor-made” for local and foreign audiences in Vietnam and tailored to fit the social and cultural context of the country.

The four-act opera Carmen was first introduced by French composer Georges Bizet in 1875. Set in southern Spain, the opera narrates the story of the downfall of Don José, a naive soldier who falls prey to the allure of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts his military duties but loses Carmen’s affection to the glamorous torero Escamillo, who kills her in a fit of jealousy. The depiction of proletarian life, immorality, and lawlessness, along with the tragic death of the main character on stage, broke new ground in French opera and sparked intense controversy.

The photo was sourced from “Carmen’s Death,” Act IV (Taken by Daniel Azoulay, at Florida Grand Opera, 2016).

The Vietnamese version of the Carmen opera tells the story of romantic dedication and commitment in a harsh yet vibrant world, along with the strong identity and personality of a modern woman. Carmen is depicted as beautiful, seductive, and willing to fight and die for love. Humanistic aspects of real life are masterfully incorporated into this classic masterpiece.

The audience’s experience will be particularly exceptional as Carmen is not just an original opera performed anywhere else in the world. It will present Carmen’s passionate love story in a Spanish context with vibrant costumes and dynamic choreography, further enhancing the visual allure of the performance.

Leading Vietnamese opera singer Dao To Loan will perform as Micaëla, artists Huy Duc and Kieu Tham will portray Escamillo, and the renowned international ensemble Hanoi Voices will appear alongside artists from the VNOB.