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This is a super performance, slightly outside the common mould. In 1977, when this was recorded, Claudio Abbado was a great opera conductor, filled with sharp insights and a nice sense of the architecture of whole operas. He always seemed to know where he was going, and his ability to build to climaxes was second to none. Abbado has a rather elegant Carmen here in the smallish-voiced, introspective Teresa Berganza, a gorgeous singer who patently refuses to force her voice or her character into vulgarity. It's a fine reading. Placido Domingo is at his best in both intimate and maniacal moments, and Ileana Cotrubas's Micaela almost makes us care about this sappy little gal. Sherrill Milnes's Escamillo has plenty of swagger and voice. Berganza's subtlety combined with the wild passions of those around her make this a very good Carmen indeed. --Robert Levine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I received this recording of "Carmen" for my birthday, and reluctantly, I opened it and put it on. I was immediately stunned by Abado's tempi and the sheer sound of the orchestra. The French dialogue was crisp and peppy, and the choral work was stunning. Placido Domingo's Don Jose was known to me, as I heard him do the role with Lyric Opera of Chicago years ago, but I didn't remember him sounding quite this wonderful. His Flower Song would melt a stone, and his singing throughout is sympathetic and very moving. Sherrill Milnes does not really have a very big role here -- he sings his Torreador Song well, and sings with sufficient ardor to arouse Carmen, which is basically what he's there for. Micaela is sensitively sung by Cotrubas, and she blends beautifully with Domingo in their first act duet ---- also, she sounds genuinely terrified in her third act aria.
Now to the sublime Teresa Berganza. Quite plainly, I have never heard the role of Carmen sung so beautifully. The sheer sound of Berganza's magnificent voice is truly something to experience. It cannot be described.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The set I received would not play properly. The replacement
was also defective as well. I am still awaiting refund for
product I returned. Do not buy this item!!!!
Berganza n'a pas été au rendez-vous de Carmen. Elle en donne une vision très terne (on croit entendre la grand-mère de Carmen... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2008 by Thierry B.
That Teresa Berganza is a great singer it is not new. But hearing her Carmen is almost a mystical experience.
She knows Carmen. Read more
Berganza isn't a tragic actress. Her bright voice is deprived of true sensuality. No sign of intensity, no "tears in her eyes". Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003 by M.Fomin
In my review of the Abbado CARMEN I forgot to mention one cast member: Robert Lloyd in the secondary (and mostly spoken) role of Zuniga is a real standout, with his perfect... Read morePublished on May 30 2003
I have to throw my unabashed endorsement of this recording into the ring. Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Milnes made a superb team and a CARMEN for the ages. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2003
I just adore Teresa Berganza, what an artist! what a voice!
You would be insane to buy any other Carmen.
While this is a good performance of this great opera it suffers from the fact that a number of "liberties" are taken with the libretto. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2002
I can't believe a couple of reviewers prefer the Karajan recording to this superlative version. In his digital version (DG) Karajan unwisely uses actors instead of the actual... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2000 by Rocio Ortega