A show best seen with your eyes shut

Carmen 3

Carmen 3 - Credit: Archant

Bizet’s Carmen, presented by The Orchestra of The National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Moldova at Cambridge Corn Exchange on October 25 2015. Review by ANGELA SINGER.

This show would have been so much better on the radio.

They could sing but they couldn’t move. Some of them weren’t even aware of how to stand still. It was best seen with your eyes closed.

Some of the so-called chorus, weren’t actually singing. They appeared to be there to make up the numbers. One demure girl at the back looked so disengaged, I’ve seen people looking more interested while waiting for a bus.

I have never seen such a motley group of soldiers. Not just different heights, none of them had any military bearing. They were in smart, bright, toy soldier uniforms but they might as well have been wearing pyjamas. Few of the cast, male or female had any sense of demeanour.

The set was great, the outside of the tobacco factory in Seville (now part of the city’s university). But when the ensemble poured out of it, down the steps, supposedly in a fight with each other and then in a struggle with the military, it was just a mess. There seemed to be no choreography, just the same limp gestures repeated over and over again.

A troupe of children skipped onto the stage in one of the crowd scenes. They didn’t seem to have been rehearsed at all. Or if they had, they weren’t listening. One boy was looking down the row to see what the others were doing.

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The fine orchestra and some of the principals deserved better and so did the audience.