"Carmen, the most famous opera in the world, follows the the story of the sultry gypsy, Carmen, who seduces a naïve soldier, Don José. He in turn dumps his childhood sweetheart and ditches his military duties, only to be rebuffed by Carmen (who now has eyes for toreador Escamillo). The spurned José then seeks his murderous revenge.Carmen is being brought to life by two tremendous singers who are sharing the lead. We spoke with Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine about what it takes to become one of the most loved characters in opera." - hedoesthecity.com
Not only does Anita Rachvelishvili look the part, her bold, creamy mezzo-soprano voice fits the role like a glove. She is no stranger to the role and her ability to step into the femme fatale’s skin was evident.
Anita Rachvelishvili plays Carmen with a proud, strutting feminism, while Alain Coloumbe, right, is a highlight of the Canadian Opera Company production and Russell Thomas, left, has a tone that nods toward a young Pavarotti.
Scheduled to appear on alternate showdays, as do many of the other principals during the course of the production’s extended run, mezzo soprano Anita Rachvelishvili invests the opera’s proud, ferociously independent title character with a pronounced streak of anti-heroism. This is a cunning Carmen, author of her own agenda, haughty, impulsive, fundamentally indifferent to men, less flirty femme fatale than fighter for her own freedom. Rachvelishvili commands her every scene, singing with supreme confidence, her sultry, captivating instrument superbly well-tuned to Bizet’s sublime score. Her seductive Près des ramparts de Séville, the always eagerly anticipated seguidilla that closes Act I, is as assertive as it is slinky.