The 2018 issue of Vox Imago is dedicated to the most popular and most influential French opera of all time. The birth of Carmen was somewhat tormented due to its explosive content, and its premiere on March 3, 1875 was a solemn fiasco. Its poor reception was also due to the fact that the Opéra-Comique, the theatre where it was performed, was considered a family theatre. The composer died a few months later, never knowing how successful his masterpiece would become.
Carmen is an innovative work by the standards of the time. The characters challenged audience’s expectations (an emancipated prima donna, an anti-hero tenor and a macho baritone), while burning social issues (gypsies, bandits, the popular masses) and an on-stage murder are juxtaposed with elements that were fashionable in the Paris of the time, like Spanish exoticism.
Vox Imago’s journey around Italian theatres this year reaches the Opera di Roma. The capital’s opera house offers a production of Carmen created during the summer season at the Baths of Caracalla.
These days a crucial part of the series is the educational section, with a guide for teachers and students, supplemented by seminars aimed at providing tools to help bring young people closer to the world of opera.
Visual Journey by
Conductor Jesús López-Cobos
Director Valentina Carrasco
Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Hervé Lacombe: Interviews
Michele Girardi, Hervé Lacombe, Marco Gurrieri, Carlo Vitali, Davide Pizzigoni, Davide Papotti, Marcello Tanca, Rosa Giorgi, Giuseppe Scaraffia
Imaginary Landscape: Spain Through French Eyes
La millième représentation de Carmen 
The 1,000th Performance of Carmen 
Argument et livret
Synopsis and Libretto
Photos: Yasuko Kageyama © Teatro dell'Opera di Roma