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Adapting Carmen: Re-imagining a Classic

Carmen by George Bizet is one of the most performed operas of all time. Why do people love this story? This film goes behind the scenes of three very different versions - the 2007 acclaimed production at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a 2005 film version shot in a South African township - U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, and a 2013 live TV version filmed in the centre of Bradford, 'Bollywood Carmen'. There is a heady mix of behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, with unique access to the writers, choreographers and composers behind the three adaptations.

Animateur and composer Hannah Conway breaks down the most famous elements of Bizet's original score, looks at what influenced him and how he uses motifs and repeating melodies to bring drama to the music. Conductor Charles Hazlewood transports us to Khayelitsha, the largest township in South Africa, and brings home the importance of keeping an adaptation truthful and authentic. From the Bradford-based Bollywood adaptation of Carmen, we meet the writers, composers, choreographers and performers to discover how they successfully fused contemporary as well as traditional Indian music and dance styles with Bizet's masterpiece.

Discover what is so special about Bizet's music and how to authentically transplant this passionate tale of seduction, betrayal and murder from one culture into another.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 28 Nov 2013 04:30


Role Contributor
ProducerKaren McCallion
DirectorKaren McCallion

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