★★★★ Carmen on the Lake – Cinema Screening (14 September 2017)
The spectacular Bregenz Festival is held in Austria every year and this is your chance to experience Carmen on the Lake whilst slurping coke and munching popcorn at your local cinema…
Carmen is the ultimate opera, and here the eponymous heroine’s soap opera of a love life is brought to the grand 7,000 seat lakeside amphitheatre at Bregenz.
The production is epic in scale with two giant hands reaching out of the water. Despite all of this scenic wizardry, the true star of this Carmen remains Bizet’s music. As a relative opera novice I can’t profess to know why the music is so mesmerising, but it is!
Gaëlle Arquez’s Carmen is a firecracker of feisty emotion right up until the tragic conclusion of the two-hour broadcast. The ensemble is huge and scenes involving fierce choreography in the lake are jaw-dropping.
You don’t get an amazing amount extra from the cinema screening but there is a short interview featurette with set designer extraordinaire Es Devlin. The cinematography is maybe a little to reliant on close-up’s and could have benefited from more zoomed out scale and audience reactions.
Overall Carmen on the Lake is a great introduction to the epic world of opera at Bregenz. Going to the real thing is definitely now on our bucket list.