Watch: Carmen sings on after terrible tumble

Watch: Carmen sings on after terrible tumble


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2018

Last night in Kristiansund, Norway, two singers popped up half a beat early and sent Carmen tumbling down a long flight of steps.

She gave a little shriek, composed herself at the side of the stage and carried on singing regardless.

The Carmen is Desirée Baraula.

She deserves an award for courage in the face of bad director/designers.



  • AB says:

    Just to mention that it was not Don Jose but Dancairo and Remendado…

  • Lilas Pastia says:

    Lebrecht writes: “Last night in Kristiansund, Norway, Don José popped up half a beat early and sent Carmen tumbling down a long flight of steps.”

    Mr. Lebrecht apparently doesn’t know Bizet’s opera Carmen. As one hears from the music, this is the beginning of the Quintet, where Don José doesn’t appear. The character in question is Remendado, sung by Knut Kristian Mohn.

    As for “bad directors/designers”, Mr. Lebrecht is certainly entitled to his opinion about that (the director is one of the most experieced opera directors in Norway), but I’d like to point out that this was the sixth performance out of seven here, and no similar mishaps have happened earlier, neither here nor in Stjørdal where the same production was produced last year with a different cast.

    Our theatre in Kristiansund is on the small side for doing large scale opera, to say the least, and accidents might happen on a crowded stage even in the best rehearsed performance.

    Happily Désiré was not injured, and continued performing her magnificent portrayal for the rest of the evening, as I myself witnessed when I served her wine and fruit just five minutes later, just before Don José actually DID appear.

  • Dominic Stafford says:


  • Patrick says:

    The music is all wrong….it should be a descending passage for the woodwinds.

  • Bruce says:

    Doesn’t look like a stupid staging idea to me, just a thing like many others that has the potential to go wrong in unanticipated ways.
    Carmen did a great job falling — would have been easy to break something if she’d gone all rigid.

  • Lilas Pastia says:

    The video is made by Christopher Høvik.

    And the place is definitely Kristiansund, not Kristiansand. Although Kristiansand is larger, Kristiansund has a much stronger opera tradition (since 1928 in the 1914-theatre that we still use for the annual opera festival)

    • Simon Scott says:

      Isn’t Kristansund usually referred to as Kristiansund N.,whereas Kristiansand is referred to as Kristiansand S.?
      I should know because once upon a time I lived in nearby Alesund

  • Mike_T says:

    Looks like her foot somehow got caught in the box when she kicked it and she overbalanced trying to free it. Nice tumbling though – wonder if they kept it in for the final performance?

  • Sharon says:

    I remember a number of years ago attending a youth ballet competition. One girl kept on dancing even after her music tape stopped due to a technical glitch. The audience was thrilled and I believe the girl received a professional contract.
    This fall may be a blessing in disguise as it may lead to an opportunity she would not have otherwise. It may also prepare her for the Met which requires the singers to sing around a lot of scenery and props moving about. She will know how to fall and continue singing when a prop hits her in the head! (lol)