|About the Book|
The story of Carmen, the fatalistic gypsy, and Don José, her murderous soldier lover, is a perennial favorite of an overwhelming majority of opera lovers. Carmen has it all: vivid characters, wonderful tunes, stirring crowd scenes, and a setting thats just exotic enough without becoming outlandish. The Black Dog Opera Library has issued a fine introduction to this classic tragedy. This hardcover book (small enough to tuck into a handbag and take along to the opera) includes an essay that explores the operas origins and performance history- a plot synopsis- a libretto in French and English, with a running commentary on the action- and, on two compact discs, a complete recording of the opera itself. Its a very attractive package for the price. The recording, made in 1969-70, stars mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry as the eponymous gypsy- an incredibly intense Jon Vickers as Don José- soprano Mirella Freni, in melting voice, as his would-be wife- and Kostas Paskalis as a dark-voiced Escamillo. Rafael Fruehbeck de Burgos conducts his soloists, the chorus, and the orchestra of the Theatre National de lOpera in idiosyncratic fashion.