Words of caution.... It's a long show. It says 3 hours, but closer to 3.5 hours. Make sure you are rested, otherwise you might fall asleep like I did.
If you fall asleep, luckily it's not a quiet drama when you can hear your neighbor snoring. So not all is lost.... And at least lulluby is fantatic.
Disclaimer: I am not an opera lover. Opera is something I feel I should be loving but I really don't, I want to cultivate understanding for it but I am long way out there. But that's okay.
So for people who wants to get into opera scene (but why?), Carmen is an easy entry, like after school pots (not my thing either, BTW). You would probably know several songs, you might be familiar with the story already. So here I am, in the beginner's class.
So what do I think after 3.5 hours?
Stage set is fantastic.
Costume is also fantatic.
Music is also impressive, always loved classical music, so this was great !
Truth to be told, never understood the story. Why does Carmen have to go to jail? For flirting with boys? Um......
Singing: I am not an expert, so just stay mute. People liked it.
More truth: I was asleep for the entirety of second act, and seriously considered going home after that. But I stuck around.... And I am so very glad I did, because there is a sublime flamenco dancing at the top of fourth act, by Glenda Sol Koeraus and Antonio Granjero. And it''s fantastic. It is very short, but very dramatic and honestly, I liked this little piece better than the entire opera to signify the relationship of Carmen and Jose. There is always beauty in simplicity, and there representation was short and heart wrenching.
Another disclaimer: I LOVE dancing, so I am probably biased ;-)
Go or stay home??? I don't know, it's a tough one and you are talking to a woman who has very little knowledge of opera. Still, I would say go, because music is fantastic and set/costume is lavish!! Plus, when will you ever wear that gown, in this casually dressed town?
For tickets: portlandopera.org