Opera by Georges Bizet
CARMEN – A REFLECTION OF TRAGIC GUILT FROM AN ANCIENT GREEK TRAGEDY
Music, lyrics and theatre of the movement are the basic trinity of the principles of the ancient Greek classical tragedy. All genres from the epoch of the Renaissance are irrevocably revived from her.
In our new production of CARMEN by Georges Bizet, the directing, in the look from its musical drama to its life on the stage, is a personal choice for an independent conceptual view in the style of mixed principles of modernity and traditions of the ancient Greek theatre. But the ancient Japanese NOH theatre, which combines closeness with it, also gives grounds for seeking approaches that motivate my choice to escape the clichés of familiar interpretations of the eternal masterpiece of the French musical realistic theatre.
In this sense, the spatial dimensions keep the scene cleared of props, free from deciphering the genre according to classical categories. Dominant place has the concentration on the fate of the main characters, placed in the central circle as their main arena of destiny. And the space around the arena is the place for the spectators, for their play, behavior and reactions of a simultaneously observing, commenting and acting Chorus.
The composition of the spatial parts for the action and the play are in harmonious proportions and proportionality of the parts in the stage space. The circle as a geometric figure, a legacy together with the square of the ancient Greek canon in the sculptural thinking about the proportions of the human body, is our main and elevated stage. It is also defined as a harmonious relationship for the three main characters involved in the tragedy of the libretto.
Three amphitheater tribunes surrounding the circle are a generalized symbol of the seats for the spectators, but in the musical-scenic dramatic fabric, this is the singing chorus. They, the spectators – chorus, become an energetic collective catalyst of the dramatic conflict between the tragic figure of the main character with her surroundings, expressed precisely by the collective personage – Chorus, the other very important actor in the ancient Greek classical tragedy.
This is how the conflict manifests itself: the tragic and lonely figure of Carmen, whose behavior is always focused on playing in the arena, stands, completely independent and isolated, in the counterpoint of the generalized image of the commenting community of hidden, indifferent and impersonal faces of masks – chorus, a particularly important and strong collective character.
Completely isolated and independent of the masked environment is the behavior, action and sad drama of the three fatefully intertwined protagonists: Carmen – Don José – Micaëla. The rest of characters: Escamillo, Le Dancaïre, Remendado, Frasquita and Mercédès, along with the episodic Moralès and Zuniga, are symbols of the common alloy – a picture that visually vibrates, with the carelessness and vitality, and is on the periphery of the main characters' personal drama.
CARMEN is a tragedy of personality. This is why in the spectacle she is the center, as an earthly person, but limited by an extraterrestrial power. There are two vital vibrations of the main character: love and freedom. Love and freedom are more important to her than life. She herself becomes their victim, fighting against the predestination that marked her. Her urges for independence make her a victim. From the very beginning she was doomed above everything else. Her personality does not fit into frames. She chooses on her own, she determines her behavior. For her, the world is impersonal and soulless. She prefers solitude. Carmen makes the decisions for her life on her own. She does not accept the predicted death from the cards and exactly her right of choice leads her to the death, to which she goes on her own for her fatal meeting with José. Thus, with the freedom of her strong spirit, independent of anyone, she decides on her life. Her pride is punished also because of her conscience constantly looking for change – audacity and challenge. But human life is in the hands of Fate.
Carmen is a reflection of tragic guilt, close in fate to characters and images from the classic masterpieces of ancient Greek tragedy.