Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2002: Carmen in Helsinki

2002-05-15 Carmen (G. Bizet), Finland National Opera (Helsinki)

Carmen = Agnes Baltsa
Don José = Alberto Cupido
Micaëla = Kirsi Tiihonen
Escamillo = Raimo Laukka
Zuniga = Jaakko Hietikko
Moralés = Jarmo Ojala
Frasquita = Merja Wirkkala
Mercédes = Kristina Haartti
Dancaïro = Marko Puustinen
Remendado = Juha Riihimäki
Lillias Pastia = Jari Mäkinen

Jari Hämäläinen, conductor



Wonderful Carmen in Helsinki 15.5.2002


The Finnish National Opera House is a very modern house, and
I was lucky to have a seat the was right in middle of the salon.
The orchestra was playing Carmen wonderfully. Great
production, and the chorus was also very good. It was similar to
Berlin Deutsche Opera the production, but at the same time I
think better.

Agnes Baltsa was a very defiant Carmen. So defiant that she
was almost certain to die a violent death. She was in great form
and was very appreciated by the audience. Some notes were
lacking, but her voice was strong in the long last notes.

Alberto Cupido was a beautiful Don Jose in his voice, but he had
become fat so he didn't look that beautiful. His voice is a
wonderful instrument. His Flower song was a real treat for opera
lovers.

Kirsi Tiihonen was a splendid Micaela. Not a sissy as she is
often portrayed, but a strong woman, ready to go to the furthest
way to save Don Jose.

And the Matador Escamillo was sung with a strong Finnish
bass.

I was so lucky to be there, it was wonderful.

Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures, and I waited for
Agnes Baltsa at the personal entrance, but I missed her.

No spoken dialogue, nor recitative.
Conductor Jari Hämäläinen
Director Guy Montavon
Sets and costumes Seppo Nurmimaa

Performed in French, surtitled in Finnish
Duration 3 h 15 min, 1 intermission


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