is one of these operas, with around eighty adaptations of the storybeing made on screen over the last century.
Some rely heavily on Bizet’s musicwhereas others only use Merimee’s story or the opera as a reference point.
Nonetheless, whether it is a re-creation, an appropriation or a parody, thereappears to be a continuing attraction to the story and Bizet’s music in the twentyfirst century. But why is this?For one, it seems as if the story is the one that has transcended time andremains to be something that is telling and touching to audiences all over theworld today. This is, in many ways, due to its questionings of race, class andfemale sexuality. In addition to this, it is thought that Bizet’s opera is one of thoseoperas, like Verdi’s
, that is adaptable to film due to the ability of theinstrumental sections to function as direct underscoring to the action on screen.
Some operas just appear to work better on screen than others, and
isdefinitely one of these operas. Despite that, the possibility of failure still remains.This is mostly due to the existence of poor artistic readings.
is one of these operas that have seen excellent, mediocre and badreadings portrayed on screen over the years. One of the latest
films to besubjected to an enquiry is
(Carmen in Khayelitsha). Thisis the debut film of director Mark Donford-May, whose previous directorialexperience was confined to the proscenium theatre for twenty-five years.
Afterfour years of stage success with his production of
, which consists
Ann Davies and Phil Powrie, ‘Introduction’,
Carmen on Screen
An Annotated Filmography and Bibliography
, (Tamesis, 2006), ix.
Cooke, ‘Opera and Film’, in
The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera
, ed. MervynCooke, 276.
Mark Donford-May, ‘Interview with Mark-Donford May’,