Ancient Romans believed that the Parcae, the three goddesses of fate, were spinning the thread of destiny for each person and severe them at their final moment of death. Giandomenico Vaccari, the stage director of the opera Carmen, which was unveiled at Seoul Arts Center Opera House last Friday, introduces three black-clad Parcae to stage that cannot be seen in the original version by Georges Bizet, as a metaphor of the fatal destiny that Carmen is to go through.
Vaccari brings his stage to life with vibrant colors. The pinkish light brown in Act I is for the mountainous terrains of Andalusia, the heavy brown in Act II captures the dark vibe of a bar, and the blue in Act III adds reality to the mountain’s cold and spooky atmosphere. The three-dimensional effect of the stage was minor. The Andalusian dance directed by Korean choreographer Lee Hye-kyung offered much entertainment to the eyes.
Elia Fabbian, who played the role of the matador Escamillo, came off as strong the “Toreador Song,” but the baritone showed his limits the lowest pitches. Lee Dae-beom, who played Zuniga, the officer of the guard who fights Don Jose, left a great impression with a deep, rich voice. The voice of Kim Eun-hui, who played the devout ingénue Micaela, was rather flat in Act I, but her aria from Act III moved the heart of audience in such a way that listening to it once could never be enough for them.
The Prime Philharmonic Orchestra and the choir of the Vienna State Opera were led by Alberto Veronesi, the currently most eminent Italian maestro of opera, but the way he led the performance was somewhat unsatisfactory. The ensemble by five singers From Act II failed to achieve the intended preciseness when the tempo was so slow, while for the chorus, the tune of sopranos For the chorus was often eclipsed by the deep voice of tenors.