Recently, As a part of the High Art on College Campus series, an innovative, appealing opera performance of “Carmen” came to Sanda’s first-year Jiashan Campus.
“Carmen” is one of the most famous operas in the world and one of the highest achievements of French opera in the 19th century. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. Shanghai Opera House performed it anew this time so that college instructors and students could experience the opera’s unique charm. The performance won much applause from the audience.
The beautiful sounds of the piano were sometimes elegant, sometimes brisk, sometimes mild and sweet, sometimes heart-throbbing and exciting. The luxuriant tones varied according to the changes in plot. Without any sound equipment, the performers sang and danced completely by themselves in the large venue. Whether they ran or leaped or lied down or bent over, what they did never affected their rich voices. The main characters sang long stretches of time over the entirely two hours but their voices never lessoned. They have completely fused their singing and performance together, exhibiting such bright, clear, natural and stereo voices that one could not help admiring their consummate skills.
That famous song “Love is like a free little bird” in “Carmen” is so melodic and expressive. It shows Carmen’s bold and unrestrained character. She not only desires love, but also dares to love and dares to pursue love, and to confess her love. At the same time she dares to get away from whom she no longer loves. In the first act, she threw her flowers to Don Jose while in the last act she threw her ring back to Don Jose. The contrast gave full expression to her pursuit of freedom. Carmen died by the sword of Don Jose at the end.
The cast left the front stage in ceaseless applause and cheers. The individual characters, each with a distinct personality and feelings and emotions, deeply affected the audience. The rich gypsy style music also left its deep imprint on the hearts and memories of the audience members.
Many instructors and students have watched a few of the High Art on College Campus performances. Each performance brought them different feelings and experiences, but inevitably deepened their love for art.
Translated By Wei Ding