Yesterday evening I saw Carmen, a season ticket performance - otherwise I definitely wouldn't have bothered to go. It must be the most worn opera of all times, and I've seen it in several versions both on stage and on TV. The first classical music record I got as a present consisted of arias from Carmen, and it probably was also the first opera ever I saw in real life ca. 1970 (by Lahti Operatic Society).

This one is a joint production with Opéra de Lausanne. Placing it in the Spain of the thirties is a very successful solution, although the music is so strong that it can take any amount of folkloristic kitsch, unlike Wagner. The staging was esthetically pleasing, but, as is common with joint productions, muffled the sound. Unfortunately Lilli Paasikivi as Carmen wasn't convincing in her role, especially in the Habanera - a dumpy middle-aged lady in a grey overall and a tank top. Besides, Leontyne Price sang it better. As a whole it was strangely muted and tame.

When I left it was snowing.