Bizet the Feminist

This will sound sooooo Nancy Reaganish -- especially to most bloggers who seem to favor alternative, hip-hop, and/or salsa (Mia) -- but I went to the opera last night to see Carmen. I had a good reason . . . my niece's husband sang the role of Morales (very well I have to say). As a Dave Matthews-kind-of-guy, I am not often seen in opera houses. And as a theater critic in a past life, I get ticked off at the lack of dramatic structure to many operas. (Why is it that Morales sings for the first 15 minutes, then disappears from the production? Why is it that Carmen dies without any deus-ex-machina character bringing some closure to the drama? Come to think of it, that's a great reason for Morales to reappear. Are you listening Bizet?)

But what struck me the most is that the Carmen girl is really a modern heroine. As much as she seems to fall in love at will -- and at random -- and most often with 'bad boys' (sounds like an episode of Sex and the City), what she values most is the right to choose; the right to change her mind; the right to be free. Poor Don Jose wants to own her, and she's having none of it. Most interpretations of the opera focus on the decline of the simpering idiot Don Jose out of love (lust?). They're wrong: uncovering the strength of Carmen is the real reason to watch/listen to this opera. That Bizet was a man ahead of his time.

CSR and Human Rights

Community Organizing for the Individual