Pathology of a bad production

Pathology of a bad production


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2017

Larry Johnson takes a scalpel to Chicago’s new Carmen, directed by a Broadway song-and-dance man:

You knew it was going to be a long night at the Civic Opera House when the undulating shirtless male dancer with a bull’s head mask appeared during the opening Prelude to menace a group of fellow dancers dressed as toreadors.

That pretty much set the sophomoric tone for Lyric Opera’s hapless new production of Bizet’s Carmen, which opened Saturday night.

Read on here.

photo: Todd Rosenberg


  • Wai Kit leung says:

    It is good to see there are still critics with honesty and integrity and call things as they see them. There are multiple commenters who thanked Mr. Johnson for writing this.

  • Prima Doughnut says:

    With 799 homicides and 3633 shot and wounded in Chicago in 2016*, it’s surprising that there is anyone left to form an opera audience.


    • Max Grimm says:

      Technically that still leaves >2.7 million in Chicago (and >9.5 million in the metropolitan area) who aren’t dead, wounded or imprisoned to form an opera audience.

  • John Borstlap says:

    This seems to have been really bad. But I prefer the smoke-free Carmen:

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    I’ve never seen a production so unequivocally called out like that before. It almost seemed personal.