Music by Georges Bizet — Rodion Shchedrin
Libretto by Alberto Alonso in the novel by Prosper Merimee
Choreography by Alberto Alonso
«Carmen» by Georges Bizet. Almost a century and a half the image of Carmen irresistibly attracts many artists who embody it in verse and prose, in music and theater, in painting and cinema. For the first time the plot about the most famous and passionate gypsy became a fact-art in 1845, when the French writer Prosper Merimee wrote his novel. A year later the young choreographer Marius Petipa has created one-acted ballet «Carmen and Toreador» on stage of Madrid Theatre And 29 years later one of the most famous opera masterpieces — «Carmen» of Georges Bizet appears. Since then, the image of the Spanish gypsy is inextricably linked with the music of the great Frenchman.
In the XX century ballets using the score of Bizet, appeared regularly. Among the most famous are Carmen by Roland Petit, created by him in 1949 for Zizi Jeanmaire, and Stuttgart’s performance of 1971 by John Cranko, where Marcia Heide danced. Among less known — the choreographic opus of Americans R. Paige and B. Stoun called «Rifles and castanets.» It is almost unknown that in Russia in the 30s the same attempt was made by the choreographer-innovator Kasyan Goleizovsky.
In 1967, a new name appeared in the playbill of the Bolshoi Theater — the ballet «Carmen Suite». Bizet’s music in the modern transcription of the composer Rodion Shchedrin, choreography by Alberto Alonso.
In the center of the ballet is the tragic fate of the Gypsy Carmen and the beloved soldier Jose, whom Carmen leaves for the sake of the young Torero. The relationship between the heroes and the death of Carmen at the hands of Jose is predetermined by Rock. Thus, the history of Carmen (in comparison with the literary source and the opera Bizet) is solved in a symbolic sense, which is strengthened by the unity of the place of action (the bullfighting platform).