The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Ear blogs live during ‘Carmen’s 2nd intermission | November 7, 2009

By Jacob Stockinger

Here I am again.

It’s the second intermission of “Carmen.”

By now we are two acts down with two acts to go, including the bullfighting arena (below, in a rehearsal photo by James Gill for the Madison Opera) and the smugglers’ camp.


This time, the loudest applause went the tenor for Don Jose’s “Flower Song.”

But the dancing on the tavern table and the stage business with the soldiers and then the smugglers also drew loud approval.

Is there consistently high quality throughout the roles and the various scenes and acts? Yes, and it continues in a cast that is well matched and well balanced, and in a staging that is effective, unpredictable and at times even daring.

It all makes for art that is entertaining, which is exactly what Bizet had in mind when he wrote the work as a comic opera. The lightness, so French, carries it.

Uh-oh. The chimes are ringing again.

It’s time to go.

This time it’s the final two acts, and we’ll get to see people betrayed and maybe a bull vanquished.

In fact we’ll see pretty much everyone who is important vanquished.

That’s usually how opera goes.

Life too.

Posted in Classical music

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