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Castleton 'Carmen'

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Charles T. Downey, Castleton Festival’s ‘Carmen’ is a group effort
Washington Post, July 9, 2012

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Bizet, Carmen (film directed by F. Rosi), J. Migenes, P. Domingo, R. Raimondi, Orchestre National de France, L. Maazel
One of the virtues of Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival has been its presentation of interesting, rarely seen operas. The first three seasons included works by Stravinsky, Falla, Weill, Ravel and most of the smaller operas by Benjamin Britten, all of which were enticement enough to make the trip to Rappahannock County. Some Puccini was thrown into the mix in the past two seasons, but the fourth season has turned that virtue of adventurous programming on its head, with productions of “The Barber of Seville,” “Carmen” and Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” that last part of a disturbing trend among opera companies and festivals.

If the gamble on staging the predictable was for sold-out houses, it did not pay off at the second performance of “Carmen” on Friday night, although the heat and violent storms may be keeping some listeners away. The enlarged Festival Theater now showcases the festival’s other virtue, with a pit large enough to seat the fine orchestra of young musicians Maazel hosts each summer. No need here for a reduced score, as is often the case in the smaller Barns at Wolf Trap, so that Bizet’s excellent scoring, with a full complement of winds and brass, provided a sweeping canvas for Maazel’s broad-stroked interpretation. The playing, a few false entrances aside, was crisp and coordinated, making the orchestral introductions to each act among the evening’s highlights. [Continue reading]
Bizet, Carmen
Castleton Festival

Jeffrey Brown, Maestros Mix With Students for Castleton Music Festival (PBS Newshour, July 6)

Anne Davenport, Castleton Festival Is Part Celebration, Part Training Ground for Musicians and Singers (PBS Art Beat, July 6)

Anne Midgette and Charles Downey, At ‘Don Giovanni’ and other outdoor performances, storm is a show-stopper (Washington Post, July 2)

Joan Reinthaler, Lorin Maazel’s sprightly ‘Barber of Seville’ opens Castleton Festival (Washington Post, June 25)

Olivier Py's new red light district staging of Bizet's Carmen from the Opéra de Lyon

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