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We were all waiting for it. Elīna Garanča dresses once more the amazing role of Carmen of Bizet at the Wiener Staatsoper for a couple of dates. A role that was made for her.

Wiener Opern Haus

When Georges Bizet wrote and revealed Carmen in 1875, he would not imagine that one day a Blond singer would invest the role of Carmen. Nevertheless the role of Carmen is a passionate role and Ms Garanča has it. The performance is not only about the singing, but also about the tremendous sensual energy that the character of Carmen emanates. The first Carmen was Célestine Galli-Marié. She was known for her personality, her passion for Opera and her youth. She settled the tone for Carmen. The first triumph for Carmen happened in Wien in 1875, which is a great story when you know that 138 years after, Wien is still loyal to Bizet’s Opera.

Photo: Félix Nadar

The role of Carmen is ambiguous in its range: in fact, it presents requirements mezzo-soprano as well as dramatic soprano. Therefore, many sopranos as mezzos have addressed this very famous role. Thus, Maria Callas, whose real tessitura still raises doubts, sang the role; dramatic sopranos or Lirico spinto also sang Carmen, as Victoria de los Angeles, Leontyne Price and Julia Migenes-Johnson. Finally, some of the greatest Carmen were mezzos-sopranos as Elīna Garanča, Beatrice Uria Monzon, Marilyn Horne and Marina Domashenko. The Cinema also got very interested on the story of Carmen as there were 19 movies from 1915 to 2006. From Charlie Chaplin (1915) to Jean-Luc Godard (1983) and Robert Townsend with Beyonce in 2001. We can see that it is a universal reference.


Ok, so now back to 2013 and the Wiener Staatsoper. Under the conduction of Bertrand de Billy, the new Carmen has a very prestigious cast.

  • Elina Garanca as Carmen
  • Roberto Alagna as Don José
  • Massimo Cavalletti as Escamillo, Toreador
  • Anita Hartig as Micaela

Carmen Elina Garanca Carmen Elina Garanca Carmen Elina Garanca Carmen Elina Garanca Carmen Elina Garanca Carmen Elina Garanca  Carmen Elina Garanca

Here are the following dates:

  • 02. June 2013 18:00
  • 04. Septembre 2013 19:00
  • 07. Septembre 2013 19:00
  • 10. September 2013 19:00
  • 13 September 2013 19:00
  • 16. September 2013 19:00

To learn more about the Opera, please connect to the official website here: 

Here is what Ms Garanca said about the role of Carmen 3 years ago to Bjorn Woll (als) / Deutsche Welle:

You’ve gained particular fame recently in the role of Carmen. Is that your dream role?
I’d be lying if I said that Carmen has always been my dream role. No, Amneris in [Giuseppe Verdi’s opera]”Aida” is my dream role, but it’s going to be a few years before I can sing it. But it’s true that Carmen is an appealing role and character.

Why is that?
Carmen is a prototype, and every singer tries to portray this prototype differently, without slipping into traditional cliches – even if you have to imply some of the cliches at times, because they’re written into the music. Also, one has to measure up to the great singers of the past in that role – both vocally and in terms of performance. But that’s also the challenge: to present a character in a unique manner. To say, I’m going to swing my hips this way now!

So femininity and swinging your hips are part of the role?
Of course! But it’s sensuality, not sexuality, that’s important for me with Carmen. Sexuality means different things to different people, naturally – one might like sado-masochism, while someone else likes white sheets and candles. And neither is wrong or right – to each his own. But with Carmen, sensuality and femininity often get lost, especially when big-bosomed singers holding their hands on their hips try to be sex bombs.Do not hesitate to check Elīna Garanča online sites:

Be passionated about life… like Carmen.



Info sourced at the artist official website, the Wiener Opera Haus website and wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.