Ballet in one act
Libretto by Alberto Alonso after the novel by Prosper Merimee
The one-act ballet “Carmen Suite” has a happy stage history and has delighted audiences since its inception to this day. It can be viewed as a harmonious solution to complex choreographic and dramatic tasks. In this work, all the components – music, choreography, stage design, acting – create a general symphony of love and freedom.
The premiere of the play “Carmen Suite” took place on April 20, 1967 in Moscow, on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater. The authors created this ballet especially for the ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Composer Rodion Shchedrin creatively re-arranged the musical material of the famous opera by Georges Bizet, Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso proposed an interesting concept of conflict and choreographic solution of the work, and the scenography of Boris Messerer, who proposed the scene of the bullfight, generalized and visualized the musical and dramatic concept of the performance.
The music emphasizes the conflict between the lively, passionate Carmen, who loves freedom more than life, and impersonal masked puppets who are trying to curb the rebellious gypsy.
In the center of the ballet is the tragic fate of the gypsy woman Carmen and the soldier Jose, who fell in love with her, whom the girl leaves for the young Torero. The relationship of the heroes and the death of Carmen at the hands of Jose are predetermined by Fate.
The order of musical numbers in the transcription of Rodion Shchedrin is as follows:
All 13 numbers form a sequential chain in which the conflict unfolds and the characters’ characters develop.
“I fell in love with Carmen Jose. Love transformed the rude, limited soldier, opened him spiritual joys, but for Carmen his arms soon turn into chains. Intoxicated by his feelings, Jose does not try to understand Carmen. He begins to love not Carmen, but his feelings for her … She could also love Torero, who is not indifferent to her beauty. But Torero – exquisitely gallant, brilliant and fearless – is internally lazy, cold, he is not able to fight for love. And naturally, demanding and proud Carmen cannot love someone like him. And without love there is no happiness in life, and Carmen accepts death from Jose, so as not to embark on the path of compromise or loneliness together, ”wrote choreographer Valentin Elizariev.