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Conductor Cristian Oroºanu at the National Opera in Bordeaux

Tuesday, 5 October 2010 , ora 9.42

Conductor Cristian Oroºanu recently stood at the music desk at the National Opera of Bordeaux, in a new staging of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. Developed in co-production with the Nuremberg State Theater, the show had six performances between September 24 and October 5, 2010. Soloists such as Janja Vuletic / Géraldine Chauvet (Carmen), Gilles Ragon (Don José), Michael Chioldi, replaced after the third representation, Paul Gay (Escamillo) or Alketa Cela (Micaela) starred in the show.

I learned more details about this, in an interview with conductor Cristian Oroºanu:

What could you tell us about the show Carmen at the Opera in Bordeaux? How would you describe Laurent Laffargue’ staging?

The staging is quite surprising, many people consider it shocking. For me, it is not so shocking though, because I have worked with directors from France before, for instance in Aix en Provence several years ago, where I edited Traviata on the highway. Laurent Laffargue’s staging is very modern and makes use of some clichés that may surprise a provincial public as that of Bordeaux. The action does not happen in Spain, but at the border between America and Mexico, and the atmosphere is a bit hot to use a word for it.

This is not the first time in your career when you are directing Carmen. Does a French version of Bizet's opera differ from a Romanian one?

Yes, actually the version that I conducted in Romania is that with Ernest Giraud’s recitatives, written after the composer's death. At Bordeaux, the original version is staged, a version frequently staged in France, with spoken texts linking the musical parts.

How did you collaborate with the soloists and the orchestral ensemble?

This is the third time I am working with this orchestra, we get along very well and we appreciate each other. The premiere was a controversial one because of the directing, with pros and cons, the public in Bordeaux being a pretty lively one. There were applause and whistling, a first not only for Carmen, but also for my career, because so far, I haven’t meet with such a situation, otherwise a very interesting one.

What are your next commitments?

Next time I will conduct two concerts in the Musical Evenings at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest and three concerts at the Philharmonic in Iasi.

Andreea Chiselev
Translated by Elena-Loredana Pastrav and Andreea Velicu
MA Students, MTTLC, Bucharest University