Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Director Peter Brook's Carmen (the spirited woman who loves Escamillo, the bullfighter, but dallies with the soldier Don José) is a filmed version of his popular chamber ensemble presentation of the opera. On the stage, Brook cut the opera down to a more intimate production and trimmed its length to 80 minutes. He also cast young singers in the roles of the young protagonists -- and these innovations created an enthusiastic response. In this filmed version, the appealing theatricality of the stage play is not matched by innovative cinematography and loses some of its force as a result. Brook filmed each of the three casts in three separate "Carmens" -- meaning for the viewers to watch the version with the singers they like the best.