New way to enjoy popular work

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am

Hong Kong's opera fans will get a chance to see French composer Georges Bizet's Carmen next month.

The show will be live and in 3-D. Well, sort of live but definitely in stunning 3-D.

Directed by Julian Napier, Carmen in 3D takes the popular opera and presents it with a modern twist. The film was shot entirely in 3-D during a live performance of Carmen at the Royal Opera House in London. A top-quality cast was brought together for the production.

Set in Seville, Spain, the opera tells the story of the fiery gypsy girl Carmen (Christine Rice), who is famous for her beauty but even more famous for capturing men with it.

Her next target is the inexperienced soldier Don Jose (Bryan Hymel), who falls for her charm. Carmen makes Don Jose reject his girlfriend. Soon, he turns on his superiors and even joins a band of smugglers.

With his reputation ruined, Carmen sets her sights on another man, bullfighter Escamillo (Aris Argiris).

Carmen premiered in Paris in 1875 to mixed reviews. Many critics thought the opera was improper for the family-oriented Opera-Comique (National Opera Comic Theatre). But Carmen went on to become a popular success.

Bizet did not live to see his opera conquer the world, however. The composer died shortly after Carmen was first produced. The opera began to take off in popularity after a well-received run in Vienna, Austria. Bizet signed the contract for the performances a day before he died.

Contains mature scenes

Carmen in 3D opens on March 5